A one-eyed albino 'cyclops' shark discovered by a fisherman earlier this year is, in fact, real, scientists have confirmed.
The shark, possessing only one eye in the middle of its face and lacking the usual grey color, was removed from the womb of its mother, a dusky shark, reports Fox News.
Shocked fisherman Enrique Lucero León caught the female dusky shark earlier this year. He was astonished when he found the deformed shark embryo along with its nine regularly developed siblings.
“This is extremely rare,” said biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña, of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz, Mexico, Fox News reports.
“As far as I know, less than 50 examples of an abnormality like this have been recorded,” Galván-Magaña said.
The shark was thoroughly examined by scientists, who confirmed that it was a genuine birth deformity as the embryo suffered cyclopia, a condition also found in several mammals including humans.
This indicated that the shark did not survive for long outside of its mother’s womb, reports Fox News reports.
Galván-Magaña and his colleagues have encountered many other 'different'-looking shark embryos during their years of research. The team discovered a two-headed shark that had failed to develop separately.
In 2006, a kitten born with one eye and no nose (a rare condition called holoprosencephaly), created a buzz online as news organizations tried to determine if the photos of the animal were real.
A veterinarian confirmed the kitten's condition; "Cy," as the cat was known, lived only a day. The remains were sold to the creationist Lost World Museum, Fox News reports.
Meanwhile, the fisherman who discovered the Cyclops shark is reportedly hanging on to the preserved remains.
Scientists have recently examined and X-rayed the unique fish, authenticating the catch.
According to Seth Romans, a spokesman for Pisces Fleet, Galvan Magana and his colleagues will publish a scientific paper about the shark within the next several weeks, Fox News reports.