FIshing can be fun as long as you don't catch a bizarre mysterious sea creature! Here are 13 of the craziest ocean catches ever recorded.
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8. Basket Star
Fishing expert Ramlan Salm pulled something out of the water that he assumed was seaweed. When he eventually got the catch onto his boat, he realized that it was moving around like an alien. Luckily he captured a video of the strange creature to go along with his unbelievable story. After experts had examined the footage they surmised that the creature must be a basket star, an invertebrate related to a starfish. Basket stars have five arms that sprout smaller appendages over time. The ocean dwellers have the ability to regrow their limbs if anything ever breaks them off.
Lobsterman Alan Robinson headed out to sea from Bar Harbor, Maine in 2006, hoping to get a good haul. He ended up with a find that is considered a natural phenomenon. This lobster lacks blue and yellow pigment on one side of its body, resulting in its remarkably perfect color scheme. Lobsters often have uneven pigmentation, but such a perfect color divide is a one in a million occurrence. The crustacean eventually ended up in Maine’s Mount Desert Oceanarium.
6. Frilled Shark
Fishers were completely freaked out when their trawler’s net caught a frilled shark in late January 2015 off the coast of Australia. The horrific looking creature was around five feet long and had rows of needle-like teeth in a gaping mouth. The crew had never seen anything like it in their lives. They are rarely observed in nature and are almost never caught as a living specimen. It’s one of the few remaining in its family and can be traced back 80 million years. Frilled sharks can be found throughout the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and typically live at very dark depths as low as five thousand feet.
5. Three Opah Fish
Seaside restaurants offer Opah fish on their menus thanks to the fact that they occasionally get caught in commercial fishermen's nets. Sports fisherman have also been known to find them accidentally, but the occurrence is very rare. There is no commercial market for these fish because they don’t swim in large schools. Anglers Armando Castillo, Joe Ludlow, and Travis Savala caught not one, but three opah fish on the same day during a trip in early August of 2014. The humongous fish weighed 151, 180 and 124 pounds respectively and were caught 125 miles southeast of San Diego.
4. Return to Sender
Teenager Terra Gallo was visiting her aunt on Monhegan Island in Maine in 2014 when she and her sister, Nola, decided to do an experiment. They tossed ten bottles into the ocean to see if any would be found. A few months later they received a reply from Cape Elizabeth, which was about 50 miles from the island. The pair didn’t hear back from any of the other bottles and eventually forgot about their test. In May of this year, the girls were stunned to get a second reply, and this one was from a little farther away. A fisherman clear across the ocean in Spain found the bottle in 2015 and finally got around to writing a letter back to the two girls, who were shocked and thrilled to get a second reply. The other eight bottles are presumably floating along somewhere in the ocean’s current.
3. Albino Swell Shark
A fisherman pulled a bizarre looking creature out of the ocean near Cabo, Mexico earlier this year. The pink alien looking creature turned out to be an albino swell shark. The rare find had a massive belly with strange eyes. After catching the rare animal, the fisherman released the shark back into its ocean home. Swell sharks are known to engorge themselves with air to make it difficult for predators to swallow them, which explains the unusual creatures puffed up belly.
2. Fisherman Catches Friend's Skull
While trawling near the mouth of the River Tyne, about 280 miles north of London in December of 2006 fisherman, Barry Hunter found part of a human skull that belonged to Brian Allison. Hunter had known Allison, and the two were friends, according to Hunter. Allison and his brother were the only two people on board their trawler when it sank during rough weather on November 17, 2004. The wreckage of the boat was eventually found but, despite an extensive search neither body was ever recovered.
1. Marine Park Shark
A fisherman at a port near Awashima Marine Park alerted park staff that he had spotted an odd eel-like creature swimming nearby. After combing through the ocean, workers caught a five foot long female frilled shark that was still alive, though appeared to be in bad shape. Staffers moved the creature to a large seawater pool and filmed the rare catch swimming and opening its mouth. Unfortunately, the shark passed away shortly after it was put in the pool. Experts at the park, which is located south of Tokyo, theorized that the shark came close to the surface because it was sick.