As if the fact that it looks like a fishtank-sized sperm whale wasn’t enough, this new species of shark glows in the dark to encourage prey to come to it. How cool is that!

A team of scientists from Tulane University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have recently discovered the all-new species of Pocket Shark.

Photo: Public Domain

The American Pocket Shark was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico by a group of researchers studying sperm whales. This is only the second specimen of this kind ever recorded, with the first being found in 1979 in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Both are separate species, each from separate oceans. Both are exceedingly rare.

NOAA researcher Mark Grace, explained.

Fewer vertebrae as well as numerous light-producing photophores covering the body, are two of the notable differences between the original Pacific Ocean specimen and the newer discovery from the Gulf.

Photo: Tulane University

The newly discovered animal measures in at 5 1/2 inches (just under 14 cm) and secretes a glowing fluid from a tiny pocket near its front fins. This is thought to help attract prey, who are drawn to the glow while the predator attacks.

Additionally, predatory behaviour is made easier by counter-illumination on the surface of the body, which renders the animal practically invisible from below.

I don’t know if I should be scared or excited about what else we haven’t yet discovered in the Ocean!