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27 Weird Sharks of the World

Whale Shark
Whale Shark. By criso via DepositPhotos

Much of the sea has not yet been explored by humans. However, the sea is home to many exciting and weird creatures. From a wide variety of fish to mammals, there is no limit to the life you can explore here. Sharks have stood out from the rest because of their predatory nature.

Some sharks are known to smell blood from miles away. Their fierce nature and adaptability have defined them as powerful underwater predators. Let us explore the world’s top 27 weird shark species that you might have never heard of.

1. Wobbegong Sharks – A calm one with a shaggy beard 

Carpet or Wobbegong Shark.
Carpet or Wobbegong Shark. By Kalmar3071 via DepositPhotos

The wobbegong shark belongs to the Orectolobidae family. The word wobbegong often translates to ‘shaggy beard.’ You might even confuse it as a rug as these weird sharks very smoothly camouflage with the orangey patterns of the sea.  They are as big as 10 feet long.

2. Horn Sharks – The crawling sharks with poisonous spines

Horn shark off Santa Catalina, California
Horn shark off Santa Catalina, California. By Ed Bierman from CA, usa – Horn Shark, CC BY 2.0,

It is a very small shark known for being nocturnal. It is called the horn shark because it has horn-shaped spines. The most strange thing about this sea creature is that it can crawl on the seabed with its fins.

3. Pocket Sharks – A pheromones releasing shark

Pocket shark
Pocket Sharks. By J. Wicker, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC/Miami Laboratory –, Public Domain,

The pocket shark is very small and rare. People often call it the mysterious shark because of the presence of a gland whose function is unknown. This gland is present near its pectoral fin. It is suspected that it helps in releasing pheromones.

4. Whale Shark – A giant filter feeder with dermal denticles

Whale Shark
Whale Shark. By criso via DepositPhotos

Who doesn’t know about whale sharks? Perhaps it is one of the most famous sharks alive. People are fascinated by the size of this beast. It is the largest fish on this planet. What makes it weird isn’t just its size but its dermal denticles. These denticles resemble tiny teeth and are present around their eyes.

5. Goblin Shark – A living fossil with a pinkish hue

An underside view of the goblin shark's snout.
An underside view of the goblin shark’s snout. By Hungarian Snow –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

People often refer to the goblin shark as a living fossil. And if you’re wondering why, it is so because of its ancient lineage. The special feature of this weird shark is its protruding jaw. This shark is also very pretty. It has a unique pink-greyish color, almost like a bubblegum.

6. Frilled Shark – An eel-like serpent 

Chlamydoselachus anguineus at Aquarium tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée (Paris)
Chlamydoselachus anguineus at Aquarium tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée (Paris) By © Citron, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The frilled shark is a very strange one. People often confuse it with a sea serpent due to its stark resemblance. This shark also has a unique eel-like body. Its strangest feature is its very frilly gills. You can find this shark in New Zealand and South Africa.

Cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis)
Cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis). By NOAA Observer Project –, Public Domain,

The Cookie-cutter shark is pretty tiny, but don’t be fooled by its size as it’s mighty. It has lips similar to a suction cup. They use their mouths to attack large animals. It attaches them to the larger animal and takes circular bites.

8. Greenland Shark – A slow-swimming longevity champion

Deep sea fish. A Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus).
Deep sea fish. A Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus). By NOAA Photo Library – expl9984, Public Domain,

The Greenland sharks are known as the world’s longest-living vertebrates. They have been around for possibly 400 years. These sharks are slow swimmers. They are the perfect example of the phrase, ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Their longevity is their most striking feature.

9. Lantern Shark – The glowing sharks

The Velvet Belly Lantern Shark, Etmopterus spinax, parasitized with 3 specimens of the barnacle Anelasma squalicola, situated on the first dorsal fin.
The Velvet Belly Lantern Shark, Etmopterus spinax, is parasitized with three specimens of the barnacle Anelasma squalicola on the first dorsal fin. By Christoph Noever/Universitet i Bergen, CC BY 4.0,

The lantern shark is small. They are called so because they are bioluminescent. It is safe to say that they are the light in the dark. They can light up the deepest oceans.  You can find them swimming in Colombia and Venezuela’s coasts.

10. Thresher Shark – A prey-stunning predator

Thresher shark in profile, showing extremely long tail.
Thresher shark in profile, showing extremely long tail. By bearacreative via DepositPhotos

The Thresher Shark is usually recognized by its very long tail fin. This tail has a lot of unique features. The Thresher Shark uses this tail to stun its prey. This shark can usually be found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide.

11. Angel Shark – A shark with a flat body

Angelshark. By aquanaut via DepositPhotos

The angel shark is one of the most special sharks out there. If you saw it swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or the western Indian Ocean, you might not even realize it’s a shark. It looks more like a ray than a shark, with a flattened body. To top all of that, it even has wide pectoral fins.

12. Sawtooth Shark – A long-snouted predator 

Fishermen with Sawtooth sharks.
Fishermen with Sawtooth sharks. By State Library and Archives of Florida –, Public Domain,

The Sawtooth shark often gets confused with the sawshark. But don’t make this mistake, as this shark differs significantly from the latter. It has a long snout, which is saw-toothed.

13. Pygmy Shark – A palm-sized miniature creature

This is one of the smallest of of sharks.
This is one of the smallest of of sharks. By SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC – or, Public Domain,

The pygmy shark is the smallest member of the family of sharks. The strangest thing about this shark is that it is so tiny that it can even fit in the palm of your hand. Isn’t that amazing? You can spot this shark in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

14. Bramble Shark – A shark with thorny denticles. 

A shark with thorny denticles.
A shark with thorny denticles. By Arthur Bartholemew – Natural history of Victoria F. McCoy, Public Domain,

The bramble shark is very dangerous. If you ever spot them, you will find them covered in denticles. These denticles resemble the thorns of a rose. The shark has a very rough, bramble-like (hence the name) appearance.

15. Zebra Shark – A shark with stripes that turn to spots

The zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is a species of carpet shark and the sole member of the family Stegostomatidae.
The zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is a species of carpet shark and the sole member of the family Stegostomatidae. By Theo Kruse / Burgers' Zoo – Luipaardhaai – Burgers' Zoo, CC BY-SA 3.0,

As you might have guessed, the zebra shark is called so due to its striped pattern, just like zebras. This is a pretty juvenile pattern. These stripes don’t stay that way forever on the shark’s body. They change to spots once they start maturing.

16. Ghost or Elephant Shark – A scary shark of the deep seas

Australian Ghost Shark.
Australian Ghost Shark. By fir0002flagstaffotos [at] gmail.comCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – Own work, GFDL 1.2,

Ghost sharks are elusive sharks that swim in very deep oceans. They were found in 2002. They have a spiky organ, which is very club-like. It is usually only found on top of the head of the males. This organ is utilized for positioning the female during copulation.

17. Pig-Faced Shark – The grunting sharks

Angular Roughshark.
Angular Roughshark. By biodiversitygr –, CC BY 4.0,

As you might have guessed, the Pig-faced sharks resemble our beloved pigs. The most notable thing about this resemblance isn’t just its outer appearance but the fact that these sharks also make sounds like pigs. They are found in the Mediterranean. They are usually 3 feet and 4 inches long.

18. Swell Shark – A seawater swelling trickster 

Swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) at the National Aquarium.
Swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) at the National Aquarium. By Cliff from I now live in Arlington, VA (Outside Washington DC), USA – Swell Shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum), CC BY 2.0,

The swell sharks can be found in the waters of the Philippines. Sharks might appear very dangerous, but they even have to protect themselves. This weird shark does so by swelling up after drinking loads of seawater. This trick of theirs often scares off the predators.

20. Nurse Shark – A bottom dweller shark

Nurse Shark
Nurse Shark. Public Domain,

The nurse shark is a bottom-dweller creature. It has strong jaws full of numerous tiny and serrated teeth. It puts its barbels to search for food on the ocean floor. These barbels also help it in staying away from danger. You can find them in the deepest parts of the tropical waters of the eastern and western Atlantic.

21. Epaulette Shark – A shark with a large spot

Epaulette Shark
Epaulette Shark By © Citron, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Epaulette Shark is generally found in the tropical waters of Australia. It has a prominent spot behind each pectoral fin. This spot is white and has black margins. This weird shark is usually only a meter long. They can survive in low-oxygen environments.

22. Megamouth Shark – A mysterious filter feeder

Megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios at Toba Aquarium, Japan
The Megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios at Toba Aquarium, Japan By opencage –, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Megamouth sharks are scientifically called Megachasma pelagios. You will rarely encounter them. They are filter-feeding giants with massive mouths and bulbous heads. They generally feed on plankton and jellyfish.

23. Carpet shark – A master of camouflage

Epaulette Shark
Epaulette Shark By © Citron, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The carpet sharks are usually bottom-dwelling sharks. They have intricate patterns on their skin.
People call these sharks the carpet sharks because they have flattened bodies. They thrive in the reef environment. This is evident because they can hide very well in crevices.

24. Skinless Blackmouth Catshark – A bewildering Mediterranean creature

Catshark. By Etrusko25 – Own work, Public Domain,

Researchers find the skinless blackmouth catshark in the Mediterranean. They grow up to about 2 feet and 4 inches. What makes it weird is that they do not have any skin or teeth. It is very bewildering for many people to understand how a shark without any skin (or teeth, for that matter) survives.

25. Basking Shark – A Weird Shark with a Big Mouth

Basking Shark
Basking Shark. By Greg Skomal / NOAA Fisheries Service – Basking Shark (in English). NOAA Fisheries Service. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Public Domain,

The Basking Shark is the second largest living fish on this planet. This shark swims with its larger-than-life mouth open. This helps it filter feed on small invertebrates as well as plankton. Doesn’t this somehow remind you of Finding Nemo?

26. Viper Dogfish – A strange-looking sea creature

Viper Shark
Viper Shark By Stephen M Kajiura – Sent by e-mail, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Viper dogfish is such a weird shark that you might even call it a creature from Mars. They grow up to only 21 inches. They are bioluminescent, which means that they can glow in the dark. This shark is usually found in the Pacific Ocean, off southern Japan.

27. Hammerhead Shark – A shark with excellent hearing

Hammerhead Shark.
A hammerhead shark in malpelo island Colombia Hammerhead Shark. By via Depositphotos

The hammerhead shark has a hammer for a head. This strange head of the shark is very useful as it enhances its hearing abilities. Its increased sensory perception helps it locate its food. It also keeps it safe from any danger.

Conclusion: Weird Sharks

Sharks By cbpix via DepositPhotos

The world of sharks is very mysterious and strange at the same time. Scientists worldwide are trying their best to know more about these enigmatic creatures. These creatures continue to intrigue humans with their bizarre and unconventional features.

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