A new species of jet black shark was found in the Pacific Ocean, and scientists have named the discovery appropriately Ninja Lanternshark.
- The new species is named Etmopterus benchleyi, or Ninja Lantershark
- It was found in the Pacific Ocean, at depths of 2,700-4,700 feet below
- It has sleek black skin and glowing photophores
- This is the 8th species of shark discovered since 2010
The Ninja Lanternshark received its name from one of the researchers’ younger cousins. Vicky Vásquez’ 8 and 14 year old cousins picked the unique yet expected name for the new species. It reflects the unique characteristics of this “lost shark” that has been overshadows by other species such as the Great White. At least, no one made a movie about them that terrified the world.
The species was given a more scientific name, Etmopterus benchleyi, the name which has an interesting story in itself. While now being the ‘ninja’ of the oceans, the species of jet black shark was also named after novelist Peter Benchley, who wrote ‘Jaws’. It’s unlikely that anyone will not remember the thriller that made them think twice about entering the waters, at least for a little while.
While some would claim that Benchley gave sharks a bad name that they did not deserve, Vásquez stated that most do not recognize the author’s contributions. Since his novel, he also created the Benchley awards, which are used to recognize people who make valuable and lasting contributions to the world’s oceans. His environmental work and, of course, famous creation have made him worthy of such a tribute.
However, Ninja Lantershark does seem easier to remember.
The exceptional species live off coast of Central America, deep within the waters, at depths between 2,700 and 4,700 feet below. It had very unique features, in the form of its jet black skin, and glowing photophores that emit light. Due to their placement and frequency, the latter are exceptional traits that potentially make them feared predators.
The dark colored tint of its skin will aid it in hiding within the pitch black depths of the ocean. While glowing photophores do not seem like the best strategy, the Ninja Lanternshark do have a way of emitting light that actually hides their own shadow. This is a clever form of camouflage and a huge hint toward adaptation. It turns them into stunning predators that are able to easily creep up upon their prey.
The specimen found was female, around 18 inches long, and known to be an adult due to the fact that it had eggs. Researchers have placed out a request for others searching through the Pacific Ocean to notify them if they find another one of its kind. There are numerous mysteries surrounding it, including its diet, lifespan, or full size.
It’s an odd combination of light and dark, which makes it a master of stealth, just like a ninja. Hence the name.
Image source: dailymail.co.uk