While some creatures are rare and difficult to spot underwater — think the Ornate Ghost Pipe fish — with a bit of effort, you will eventually glimpse one. The Megamouth shark, on the other hand, is so rare that according to Wikipedia, it has only been encountered 62 times.
That number is now up to 63 after a recent video posted by Scubaplex on Facebook showing an encounter with a Megamouth shark off the coast of Komodo, Indonesia. The encounter happened on July 25, 2017.
The encounter was filmed by diver Penny Bieliech, and is the fourth Megamouth encounter of 2017. Luckily, this time the shark was alive and well; the previous three encounters were with sharks that were either deceased or died shortly after being accidentally caught in a net.
The Megamouth was a sensation when it was first discovered in 1976, mainly due to its large size. It came as a complete surprise that a shark that averages between 3m/10ft and 5m/16ft was unknown to science. Megamouth sightings are very rare because it is a deep dwelling shark, spending most of its time in very deep water. Although the entire picture is somewhat incomplete, a tagged shark spent most of its time between 120m/393ft and 160m/525ft, while one specimen was caught off the coast of Japan at a depth of 800m/2,625ft.
While there have been several Megamouth encounters off the coast of Japan, the Philippines, and Brazil, this is the first recorded encounter in the Komodo area, which should add a little more understanding to the distribution of this species.
You can check out Scubaplex’s original Facebook Post here.