One of the world's rarest deepwater sharks caught in Philippines (pictures)

Ruth Doherty

One of world's rarest sharks, the megamouth, caught in Philippines
One of world's rarest sharks, the megamouth, caught in Philippines

One of the rarest sharks in the world has been caught by a fisherman in the Philippines.

The 18ft megamouth shark was caught in the shore of Barangay Cugman in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday morning.

According to the fisherman that caught it, the animal died while struggling in the net, but was already weak at the time.

It is believed to be only the 59th megamouth shark ever seen by humans.

Animal bone enthusiast and expert Darrell Blatchley, American curator and owner of D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, told the Sun Star: "In my 20 years as a collector, I have seen various species of dolphins and whales. This is my first time seeing this kind of shark. It was strange. So lucky to have seen a megamouth shark in [the] flesh."

Twitter user Kate Ramos also posted a picture, taken by Pry Rockwell, of the shark.

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The megamouth shark is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark, and the smallest of the three plankton-eating sharks besides the whale shark and basking shark.

Since its discovery in 1976, it has rarely been seen, with only three recordings on film.

Like the other two filter feeders, it swims with its enormous mouth wide open, filtering water for plankton and jellyfish.

Back in May, the 58th megamouth shark seen by humans was caught in waters off Shizuoka, Japan, at a depth of 2,600ft.

The megamouth is on display at the Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka City, and over 1,500 people flocked to watch staff dissect the creature.

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