A team of scientists made some unexpected friends while exploring the deep Pacific Ocean.
The marine biologists came across extremely rarechimaeras — also called ghost sharks — on the rocky seafloor near the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of central California.
The pointy-nosed blue chimaera is known to live in deep waters near Australia, New Zealand and the French territory New Caledonia. But the unusual fish had not been previously identified in the Northern Hemisphere.
Lonny Lundsten, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, recently published the findings with his colleagues in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records.
The team's videos are the only images of this rare species in its natural habitat. They filmed the ghost sharks using a remotely operated vehicle and worked with different fish experts to confirm the fish was indeed the pointy-nosed blue chimaera.
Still, some uncertainty remains: Scientists said they can't positively identify the ghost sharks in the video until they collect one and analyze its DNA.