What to know

Specimens of the “Alien” Viper Shark Found in Taiwan

Alien viper shark - Fisheries Research Institute Taiwan

A marine survey off the coast of Taiwan brought back five very rare and alien-looking specimens of the viper shark.

Looking almost exactly like the alien from Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, the viper shark lives at depth of around 350 meters.

Used to extreme depths, only one fish survived out of the five. Even though scientists kept in 10 degree Celsius-cold water to keep it alive, it only survived for one day.

Images: Fisheries Research Institute, Taiwan.

The viper shark, named for its jaws that can extend beyond its mouths, has only ever been found on coasts of Japan, Hawaii and Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean.

They were first reported by Fumio Oe and Kenji Mochizuki in the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology.

If their jaws aren’t alien enough to scare you, you should know that they also have glowing spots that light up on their undersides.

Still not scared? Well these tiny predators feed on crustaceans, like crabs and lobsters, and other bony fish by impaling them with their long, sharp teeth, before swallowing them whole.

Next time you take a dip in the ocean, just know that similar creatures might be lurking right under your feet.

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