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Goblin Shark: Get to Know This Rare Shark Species | BeCause Tees

Goblin Shark: Get to Know This Rare Shark Species

The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a little-known, rare shark species. A fascinating creature that lives deep in the ocean, the goblin shark has an extremely distinctive appearance - perhaps that's putting it kindly! In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of the goblin shark, so you can get to know this little-known ocean-dwelling creature. 

Goblin Shark

Discover the Goblin Shark

A Living Fossil

The goblin shark is often called a "living fossil" - fossil records suggest that the goblin shark has swam in the Earth's oceans for over 125 million years, which means they were around at the same time as the dinosaurs. They're the only surviving creature from the family Mitsukurinidae.  

Bizarre Appearance

The goblin shark is certainly an interesting creature to look at! Their unusual pink/grey coloring, elongated snout, and a plethora of teeth all combine to make a creature that looks very different from other shark species. A jaw that's able to extend completes their unique look.

The name 'goblin shark' derives from a Japanase mythical creature that bore resemblance to these strange-looking sharks. 

Where Do They Live?

Goblin sharks live deep in the ocean, inhabiting depths of up to 4,000 feet and possibly even greater depths. Because they live in such deepwater areas, goblin sharks are very rarely seen by humans and have been hard to study. This means that very little is known about certain aspects of their lives, such as their reproduction and life cycle. 

Goblin sharks are known to live in various locations across the globe, including various areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Because of our lack of knowledge surrounding this shark species, it may be that more areas inhabited by goblin sharks are found in the future.

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What Do They Eat?

Fish, squid, and crustaceans appear to be the preferred choice of food for goblin sharks.

How They Locate and Catch Their Prey

Their methods for catching and eating prey are unusual. Goblin sharks are slow swimmers, and so they creep up on their prey, ready to ambush. This where their rostrum comes into play - their snout is covered with special organs, named ampullae of Lorenzini, that detect electric fields created by prey, so they can easily locate it in the dark depths of the ocean. 

Their fascinating method doesn't end there - in order to catch their prey, goblin sharks have a jaw that can rapidly extend outwards to catch prey, and then retract again.

Are Goblin Sharks Endangered?

Whilst considered to be rare, they're not currently an endangered shark species. The IUCN Red List classifies goblin sharks as a species of Least Concern. The main threat to goblin sharks is being caught by deepwater fisheries, although they tend to remain at sufficient depths to avoid this being a major problem.


    The goblin shark is a truly fascinating creature and because of their preference for deep ocean waters, is still somewhat of a mystery in some ways. Goblin sharks remind us that there's still so much we can learn about our beautiful planet and the creatures that inhabit it. Shop goblin shark apparel and more in our Sharks Collection.

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