The 'Ninja Lanternshark' Is 2016's Rad New Shark
The jet-black shark was discovered off the Pacific Coast of Central America
NEW SHARK! NEW! SHARK!
Ohhhh boy ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy! There’s a new shark in town, you guys, and it’s got the awesomely Internet-baiting name of the “ninja lanternshark.” We’re calling it now: 2016 is the year of the ninja-shark.
Just try and convince me you’re not excited. (I don’t believe you.)
Etmopterus benchleyi, its name a nod to Jaws author Peter Benchley, was recently discovered by researchers from the Ocean Science Foundation and was formalized by eight specimens found off the Pacific Coast of Central America.
The 1.5-foot ninja lanternshark was observed at depths of 2,700-4,700 feet, and has special skin structures called photophores that give off a faint glow to help it blend in with its low-light, jet-black surroundings. (Hence the “ninja” name.)
“We don’t know a lot about lanternsharks. They don’t get much recognition compared to great whites,” lead researcher Victoria Vásquez told Hakai Magazine. “So when it came to this shark I wanted to give it an interesting story.” Vásquez arrived at the name with the help of “four children, ages 8-14 years old,” she told PEOPLE in a statement.
Mission accomplished, Dr. Vásquez.