Would you look at this bizarre-looking shark? Just look at him! Jet-black skin, bulbous eyes and special glow-in-the-dark cells that help him hunt in the dark depths of the ocean. This freaky fish is called the “Ninja Laternshark.”
If it sounds like a kid named the Ninja Laternshark, that’s because it was. Researcher Vicky Vásquez says she asked her four cousins aged 8 to 14 what they thought the oddball fish should be named, and they originally named it “Super Ninja Shark.” But Vásquez, who is a graduate student at the Pacific Shark Research Center (PSRC) in California, didn’t think her colleagues would and the science world would approve, so she scaled it down a bit and came up with “Ninja Laternshark.” However, the official and scientific name of the shark is Etmopterus benchleyi, named after shark-lover and the author of Jaws.
From Hakai Magazine:
The Ninja Laternshark uses photophores in its skin to produce a faint glow in the deep, dark ocean. Scientists believe the animals, which can grow to about half a meter in length, use this cloaking ability to blend in with the limited light penetrating the ocean’s depths and appear invisible from below. This helps them sneak up on small fish and shrimp while also avoiding becoming lunch for larger predators.
The first Ninja Lanternshark was 18 inches long and found off the Pacific Coast of Central America. The scary shark is said to live at the depth of half of a mile.
Amazingly, “about 20 percent of all shark species have been discovered in just the last ten years,” Dave Ebert, program director for the PSRC reveals.
I still would have gone with Super Ninja Shark.