Rare Megamouth Shark Washes Up in Philippines

Fishermen use a stretcher with steels bars to carry a rare 15-foot (4.5-m) megamouth shark (Megachasma Pelagios), which was found in Burias Pass in Albay and Masbate provinces, central Philippines January 28, 2015. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Albay province will investigate the cause of the shark's death. STRINGER/PHILIPPINES / Reuters

A dead megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) was discovered by fishermen in the Philippines on Wednesday, providing a rare glimpse of a mysterious animal that spends much of its life in the deep ocean.

It was found in the Burias Pass, located between the Albay and Masbate provinces of central Philippines. Less than 70 megamouth sharks have ever been spotted, according to marine biologist Christopher Bird and Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.

The 15-foot male was dead when it was discovered. The cause of death is unknown. Very little is known about the megamouth shark, an extremely rare species of deepwater shark that was only first discovered in 1976. Most wash up on the coasts of the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan.

These animals can grow to be around 17 feet long and apparently they don't taste too bad. The last one discovered, according to Marine Wildlife Watch, was eaten by the people who found it.



— Keith Wagstaff