An Indonesian fisherman, Abdullah Nuren, caught a mother shark and found a tiny baby shark with a human face inside. People have compared the strange yet cute little animal to the popular cartoon character Baby Shark due to its human-like appearance.
Abdullah Nuren discovered that he and his brother had caught an adult shark by accident near Rote Ndao. The animal was trapped in one of his nets.
When he later cut into the shark's belly, he found three baby sharks inside. However, one of them looked rather strange because it looked like it had its eyes just below the nose, making it look eerily human.
Basically, he had found a baby shark with a human face. How cool is that?.
However, the shark is smaller than a human hand, and its shocking appearance did not keep Nuren from taking it home. In fact, Nuren was incredibly anxious to have his family see the baby shark with a human face as they had always wanted to see a shark.
Eventually, his home had a lot of people who wanted to look at a shark, and seeing a rare little shark such as this was undoubtedly extra special.
The fisherman's family helped him preserve it. That meant he would have a chance to own it for a long time to come.
Without a doubt, there is no denying that, as "human" as this little shark looks, it is quite nightmarish. Although the face looks eerily like a human's, the rest of the body looks like regular baby sharks.
The little creature has what looks like two big eyes just under its nose, giving it a bizarre human-like appearance. Its mouth is also open, which adds to this odd trait.
Usually, a shark's eyes are located on the sides of its pointed snout. Therefore, a shark with eyes just below the snout is bound to stand out.
According to experts, what Nuren discovered was actually a "requiem" shark. These sharks belong to the Carcharhinidae family, and they range in size from less than 40 inches to over 24 feet.
What Finding A Baby Shark With A Human Face Means
Experts have come forward with a few theories on why this kind of creature would exist in nature, however rare it might be.
According to one of the theories, what seems like bulging eyes may not actually be eyes at all, what you might see as eyes may actually be part of the nose.
Gavin Naylor explained that that the "eyes" are nasal capsules that have not closed completely. Naylor works at the University of Florida as the director of the Florida Program for Shark Research.
Here is what he thinks of the baby shark with a human face:
"If you were to roll the shark over you'd see the eyes placed dorsolaterally."
Another possible explanation is that the shark suffered from a birth defect. Naylor also backs this theory: he believes that the baby shark likely has a developmental problem, giving it its signature human-like appearance.
Could The Shark Be Suffering From Cyclopia?
Neil Hammerschlag, an expert researching sharks, also thinks that the little shark has a congenital disability. According to him, the defect might be caused by a problem called partial cyclopia, which is a condition whereby a shark has two eyes but a single fused orbit.
This developmental issue can result in pretty unsettling appearances in animals. In addition to this theory, Hammerschlag has also expressed some doubts about the authenticity of the image of the baby shark with a human face.
After all, we live in the internet age where photos can be doctored to look a certain way.
A marine conservation biologist, David Shiffman, has come out to dispute rumors that the baby shark with a human face is proof that the fisherman stumbled upon a previously undiscovered shark species. As far as Shiffman is concerned, the strange features might have been caused by a congenital disability.
Strangely, seeing a baby shark with a human face should not be so surprising. Many odd-looking sea animals have been seen around the world over the years.
For instance, in October 2020, fishermen in Indonesia found another mother shark with a single-eyed albino pup inside. Earlier, in 2011, fishers had also found a one-eyed albino shark in its mother's womb.
What Causes These Deformities?
It is certainly interesting to see a baby shark with a human face or a one-eyed albino shark. But, what has to go wrong for these kinds of things to happen?
The truth is that it's challenging to determine what causes these deformities, mainly because they are also so rare. However, experts think issues like pollution, inbreeding, and infections might be to blame.
In fact, inbreeding might be on the rise due to excessive fishing, which has critically lowered the population of these creatures in the sea.
Otherwise, the baby shark with a human face Nuren found has been compared to the famous "Baby Shark" character on the popular YouTube kids' song, Baby Shark.
Apparently, people offered to buy the little shark, but the fisherman opted to hold on to it. He believed that it represented good luck, and he didn't want to give that up.
Thanks to the baby shark's strange appearance, once news spread around that the fisherman had the creepy little creature in his possession, his home was crowded with people who wanted to see the strange natural phenomenon with their own eyes.
Nuren likes to put the shark in a box lying on its back, making the peculiar face even more visible.
The Sea Is Filled With Strange Mysteries
The one thing this baby shark with a human face proves is that the world is expansive and full of unusual creatures that we can not even begin to imagine. That is why this little and strange creature has left a lot of people baffled.
Some people think the creature looks like something you would whip up using dough or clay.
Back in 2007, far stranger discoveries were made at sea. More than 20 detached feet washed up on the shores of British Columbia in Canada and Washington in the United States. It was later determined that the feet belonged to people who had died due to accidents or suicide.
Apparently, the feet were detached from the bodies as the bodies decomposed, which is normal. The shoes made the feet buoyant and helped preserve them, which allowed them to look so intact when they were discovered on the shores.
So, finding a baby shark with a human face at sea is just one of many bizarre mysteries of the ocean.