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5 Sharks That Refuse to Fit Your Definition of Shark

Behold, five sharks that look nothing like sharks, to broaden your shark horizons.

In case you were wondering, there are over 450 types of shark that exist in our oceans. Freaky, right? Some of these aquatic predators resemble the stereotypical “Jaws”-style scare-masters, while others are so different you might have never guessed they were sharks.

Behold, five sharks that look nothing like sharks, to broaden your shark horizons.


1. Wobbegong shark

Possibly resembling more of a ray-like species, this shark hangs mostly around the Philippines near the seafloor. Its distinctive flaps of skin, called barbels, hang from its mouth, enabling it to taste and feel. Let's not forget its unique coloring makes it an excellent predator. No surprise there.


2.Dwarf Lantern Shark

As the world's smallest known shark, this little dude usually grows to be smaller than the average human hand. Don’t let its size fool you: It’s a mastermind predator in the water, using glowing spots to help attract small prey.


3. Prickly Dogfish

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, New Zealand-American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration, NOAA Vents Program

Not only is its name totally awesome, but it also serves as a warning: This shark's prickly rough skin can be compared to that of sandpaper. The humpbacked sea creature can be found in deep ocean waters between Australia and New Zealand, but don't mistake him for man's best friend.


4. Megamouth Shark

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, FLMNH Ichtyology

Though few have reported seeing this bad boy since its discovery in 1976, the megamouth shark seriously creeps us out. Its name, of course, comes from its giant mouth — this guy doesn't sport the typical sharp, pointy, terrifying teeth so many of us expect from sharks, and instead houses 50 rows of tiny hooked teeth. Still equally unsettling.


5. The Horn Shark

Perhaps the cutest of the bunch, this small shark's good looks are actually quite deceiving. This speckled sea crawler has large, venomous spines that deliver a painful surprise to any predators that attack. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) doesn’t have enough data to determine this species’ conservation status, but it is hunted in California for its spines, which are made into jewelry.

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