New sharks are being discovered every year, but few of them are as bizarre as the megamouth, which remained unknown to science until relatively recently.
On November 15, 1976, a U.S. Navy ship cruising off the coast of the island of Oahu in Hawaii had deployed two large parachutes as “sea anchors” (anchors that drag along in the ocean while the ship is in motion). When the parachutes were hauled up, they discovered that one had entangled a large shark, now dead, that no one recognized.
The 14.6-foot shark was eventually shipped to the Waikiki Aquarium, where ichthyologist Leighton Taylor confirmed that it was a species that no one had ever seen before. Leighton named this strange shark Megachasma pelagios, which means “huge yawning cavern of the open sea.”
If a creature this large remained hidden for so long, what other monsters are out there?