The Smithsonian just scored its latest rare find, and this time, it’s a frozen shark. In 2018, fishers in Taiwan caught a megamouth shark, a fish that was only first observed in 1976. Now, the scientists at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will get to study the extremely rare species.

The megamouth shark, officially called Megachasma pelagios, was dubbed for its huge mouth.

“When it comes to sharks, they’re probably one of the most unique and weird-looking species. Their mouth just keeps opening and their upper jaw closes like a convertible hood,” said Paul Clerkin, a graduate researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, told Smithsonian Magazine.

Megamouths are one of three types of filter-feeding sharks, and they can weigh up to 2700 pounds. According to Oceana, they are “one of the largest sharks in the world,” and they live as deep as 15,000 feet below the surface. Scientists do not, however, know enough to determine their conservation status, and that’s part of what makes the Smithsonian’s acquisition exciting.

Because their megamouth shark is frozen in a huge block, something only a museum with the Smithsonian’s level of resources can maintain, they can properly study the anatomy and DNA for new information before the specimen is preserved with formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol. 

“Understanding the life history of sharks is important, especially because we don’t know their full role in marine ecosystems or how sensitive they are to human-made pressures. They’re a big influence on the world,” Clerkin explained.

The Smithsonian released the news in their magazine during Shark Week, the Discovery Channel programming event that usually raises the level of public interest in the fish. 

Shark In this image, a great white shark is attracted by a lure on the 'Shark Lady Adventure Tour' in Gansbaai, South Africa, Oct. 19, 2009. Photo: Getty Images/Dan Kitwood