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The ocean is full of bizarre creatures that are often not seen by humans. Most of them are from the deep sea that has managed to make its way either floating atop the water or on dry ground. For instance, Italian sailors were shocked to spot a sea creature floating that has a body of a shark but a face that somewhat resembles that of a pig.

As strange as it looks, this deep-sea creature is not a mutated fish. But rather, it is an extremely rare shark that lives thousands of feet below the surface.

 Extremely Rare Pig-Faced Shark Shocks Italian Sailors; Experts Confirm It's Not A Mutant Fish
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Angular roughshark (Oxynotus centrin) exhibit in the Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra - University of Coimbra - Coimbra, Portugal.

Pig-Faced Shark Spotted Floating Near An Italian Island

According to a report by Mirror, Naval officers spotted a floating strange creature in the waters at the Darsena Medicea marina near the Italian island of Elba. When they pulled it out of the sea, they were surprised to see a shark but with a face that looks like a pig.

Some people were quick to comment that it was some kind of a mutant, but a closer look by experts reveal that it was not the case. It turns out that the pig-faced shark is an extremely rare shark, called Angular roughshark (Oxynotus centrina), that lives approximately 2,300 feet (700 meters) deep below the waves.

LAD Bible reported that this bizarre sea creature was found about three weeks ago on August 19, but it was only recently that the strange discovery went viral on the internet when pictures of it were shared on various social media platforms.

Hundreds of comments flooded the pictures of the Angular roughshark with some people even accusing the Italian sailors of intentionally capturing and killing the extremely rare shark. Only it was taken to the Harbor Office to be studied before it was disposed of.

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IUCN Lists Angular Roughshark As An Endangered Species

Despite living thousands of feet below the surface of the sea, the extremely rare pig-faced shark is listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as a Critically Endangered species.

On the other hand, The Sun reports that locals have been seeing the shark show up on the surface on some occasions. Yuri Tiberto of the Elba Aquarium said in an interview with a local media that despite the angular roughshark's status of being rare, it was still not uncommon for locals to see them.

"It is commonly called a 'pig fish' because when it comes out of the water it emits a kind of grunt," The Sun quoted Tiberto. "In the sea of the Tuscan archipelago, so rich in biodiversity... it is not uncommon to find this fish, and I can safely say that I often receive reports telling me of 'pig fish' that have ended up in local fishing nets.

He added that he once tried to host one angular roughshark inside an aquarium but later on gave up because the species does not adapt to life in captivity.

The pig-faced shark commonly lives in the East Atlantic Ocean ad the Mediterranean Sea. It looks unique among other shark species because of its broad, flattened head, and a fat, blunt snout.

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Check out more news and information on Sharks in Science Times.