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Images: Weird Deep-Sea Sharks

Big fish

Gulper shark from deep sea.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

During a two-month commercial fishing expedition in early 2012, California graduate student Paul Clerkin studied the many weird sharks a massive trawler plucked from the deep sea. The ship was in the Indian Ocean, bringing up fish from a depth of about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters).The large gulper shark pictured above was one of Clerkin's favorites, he said.

Newfound fish

A deep-sea ghost fish.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

It's likely this ghost shark is a new species. The sharks have large pectoral fins and live very deep in the ocean.

Armed and dangerous?

Ghost shark with back spine.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

Another ghost shark. Notice the curved spine emerging from its back, near the fish's head.

Wild ride

Deck of trawler ship in rough waters.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

The large trawler ship that was Clerkin's home for two months. The vessel hit some rough waters in the Indian Ocean.

Pale swimmers

Small, pale cat sharks, possibly a new species.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

Small cat sharks, potentially a new species.

Strange fish

Paul Clerkin with false cat shark.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

The trawler picked up more than 30 false catsharks, pictured above. These large, pointy-faced sharks are thought to be rare, but Clerkin said he's not so sure that's accurate. It's likely humans haven't often fished the deep waters where these sharks live.

What's up, doc?

Ghost shark face

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

A ghost shark. In the place of teeth, the fish have wide bony plates, lending them a goofy mouth shape that resembles that of a bucktoothed rabbit.

Skinny shark

Long, narrow shark from deep sea.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

A long, narrow shark with a strange mouth.

Li'l guy

Small deep-sea shark.

(Image credit: Paul Clerkin.)

A small, deep-sea shark, brought up from seamounts in the Indian Ocean.