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Sea shanties and tales have been spun since the dawn of man about horrific creatures in the sea terrorizing ships and eating crew members right off the decks.

While many assumed that these were just the tales of yore with no fact to them, it turns out there may been some truth to these stories after all.

The ultra-rare frilled shark — which has a body shaped like a snake and a head like a shark — has been spotted and captured off the Algarve coast, according to The Sun. Images of the shark have been causing a stir on social media.

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The creature, measuring 4 feet, 9 inches, in length belongs to a species that dates back 80 million years, during the peak of the dinosaurs. It was captured at a depth of 2,300 feet below the surface. Previous encounters with the frilled shark have been around this depth, though not below 3,300 feet, due to its habitation near the outer continental shelf and upper to middle continental slopes.

Humans have come across the shark just a handful of times before, including the first observation in August 2004, off the coast of the southeastern U.S.

Other sightings include one in January 2007 in Japan, December 2014 in Australia and one in Tokyo Bay in April 2017, when the creature was captured on film, according to Japanese news website Mantan.

Other than its habitat and appearance, there is little known about the frilled shark, due to the fact it has never been captured before.

In an interview with Portuguese news website Sic Noticias, University of the Algarve professor Margarida Castro said its name is derived from the way its 300 teeth are arranged.



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