The albino cyclops shark discovered by a fisherman and made famous by Pisces Fleet is real, scientists confirm, dismissing rumors that the dead fetal shark found in its mother's belly was an elaborate hoax.
The shark corpse was sliced from the belly of a pregnant dusky shark after its mother was caught by a commercial fisherman in the Gulf of California earlier this summer. Sportsfishing Pisces Fleet posted the cyclops shark's picture online, rocketing it to Internet viral fame.
Shark researchers have examined the creature, which was preserved by the amazed and fascinated fisherman, say the body is real, having been X-rayed and authenticated to prove it wasn't fake. The cyclops shark's single eye had functional optical tissue, but it is unlikely the malformed animal would have survived outside the womb.
This is extremely rare, shark expert Felipe Galvan Magana told the Pisces Fleet blog in July. As far as I know, less than 50 examples of an abnormality like this have been recorded.
Magana, of Mexico's Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias del Mar, has encountered strange sharks before, most of which aren't fake finds. He and his colleagues have found two-headed shark embryos in two different female blue sharks over his career.
According to CBS and a spokesman for Pisces Fleet, Galvan Magana and his colleagues will publish a scientific paper about the find within the next several weeks. In the meantime, check out five other creepy sea creatures you won't believe are real!