It may look like a creature from an ancient myth – but this one-eyed shark is the real fin.
The unborn foetus was found inside a larger shark that was found dead after being trapped in fishing nets off the coast of Maluku province, Indonesia.
When the bigger predator was cut open to remove its guts, shocked fishermen found the unusual baby inside.
It had one large eye in the middle of its forehead along with a milky-white body and fully formed fins.
It is believed the larger predator was pregnant when it became caught in the netting.
One of the fisherman said: “We found three babies inside … but one of them looked strange with only one eye.
“It’s colour was strange too … like milk.”
Those on board reported their strange catch to the local marine office before turning over the unborn baby shark for tests.
The mother was already dead when they found it, the fisherman explained.
The shark’s condition – known as cyclopia – is a rare congenital disorder characterised by the failure of the front portion of the brain to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities.
It occurs within the spectrum of brain and face defects known as holoprosencephaly, which in severe cases can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.
The baby shark’s other apparent condition – albinism – sees the animal produce low amounts of melanin, which is responsible for pigment in the body.
It is not the first time a one-eyed shark has emerged from the depths.
In 2011, it was reported one of the extremely rare creatures was found inside the womb of a bull shark in the Gulf of California.
Marine expert Felipe Galvan Magana, of Mexico’s Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias del Mar, said at the time: “This is extremely rare.
“As far as I know, less than 50 examples of an abnormality like this have been recorded.”
This story was originally published on The Sun and is republished with permission