Pig-Faced Shark Found In The Mediterranean Sea Becomes An Overnight Sensation

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Italian Naval officers pulled a dead pig-faced shark from the Mediterranean Sea on August 15, 2021 (Credit: Sola d'Elba App/Facebook)

A fish with the body of a shark and the face of a pig may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie. But that precisely describes the dead shark retrieved from the waters off Italy's Elba Island on August 15, 2021. Not surprisingly, photos of the unusual animal, posted on the Elba Island App Facebook page on September 3, 2021, have caused a stir worldwide. However, locals are not impressed.

Angular roughsharks, aka "pig fish," are common in the eastern Atlantic Ocean — from Norway to South Africa, including the entire Mediterranean Sea. The sharks, which feed on worms, crustaceans, and mollusks, can be found at depths of between 200 and 2,200 feet (60 to 670 meters). While most individuals grow to about 3.3 feet (1 meter) researchers have found ones as long as 4.9 feet (1.5 meters).

The angular roughsharks can be found extensively across the Eastern Atlantic Ocean (Credit: Sola d'Elba App/Facebook)

"This fish is quite frequent in our waters: it is commonly called "pig fish" because when it comes out of the water emits a kind of grunt," Yuri Tiberto, owner of the Elba Aquarium, told the Toscana Media News. "It's capture certainly cannot be said to be exceptional. In fact, in recent years, several other specimens have been caught."

The angular roughsharks' wide-set eyes, flat head, and large, pinkish snout are not their only unique features. They have many other attributes that are not common in other shark species. These include two massive pointed dorsal fins, rough scales, or denticles, on the skin, and prominent ridges over the eyes.

A shark with no skin or teeth found in July 2019 was the first of its kind (Credit: Mulas et al.)

The pig fish is not the only unusual shark recently found in the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2019, fishers pulled up a "naked" shark — one that seemed to be born with no skin or teeth. The one-of-a-kind fish had managed to survive for three years before it died in the fishers' net.

Resources: Livescience.com, wild-facts.com, natureworldnews.com

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248 Comments
  • peep1ok
    peep1ok2 months
    It's an interesting fish, It really was sad when I found out it was dead, for a second I had visions of visiting it a an aquarium!
    • iamrobot
      iamrobot2 months
      Amazing nature.
      • castus
        castus2 months
        I was sad when i found it was dead rip pig fish
        • natyes
          natyes2 months
          It's actually really cute!
        • pink_koala
          pink_koala3 months
          Ha ha ha! There is certainly magic happening on earth!!!
          • s0ck
            s0ck3 months
            That's so cute :D
            • bayhurst
              bayhurst3 months
              I thought it was cool until I found out it was dead
              • crazycatlady1
                That is so interesting.It also looks kind of cute, but the slime in the mouth looks kind of slimy but gooey!
                • ryn0-lxl555
                  ryn0-lxl5553 months
                  that last pic is weird. it looks slimy. i cant imagine eating worms.
                  • abbu
                    abbu2 months
                    I know right!
                  • tailow789
                    tailow7893 months
                    its kind of cute, but the bottom image looks so totally gross!