A shark was swallowed whole during a rarely seen deep-sea feast

A rare video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration captures the moment a wreckfish ambushes and swallows a whole shark.

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2019 6:40 PM

Perhaps the old saying is true: You are what you eat.

And in this case, a shark primed itself to be a decadent meal for a wreckfish that was casually passing through.

Researchers who were exploring the ocean depths to look for a World War II shipwreck shared a video of a rare shark sighting last month.

The NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research team recorded a school of deep-sea dogfish feasting on a dead swordfish about 1,476 feet below the surface off the coast of South Carolina. The video shows at least 11 of the sharks devouring a recently dead 8-foot swordfish.

Then comes an even bigger surprise.

A bony fish known as a wreckfish comes from behind the researchers' remotely operated vehicle and snatches a shark into its mouth, leaving only the tail flailing between its lips.

Yes, that's a lot of unpack. Let's break down what these researchers are calling a "once in a lifetime event."

It's rare to see sharks like this in a group

The NOAA team says it's uncommon for deep-sea sharks to be in a group unless there is some nearby patch of food.

Peter Auster, a senior research scientist at the Mystic Aquarium and research emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut, said these sharks probably traveled a long way to feed on this swordfish. Scientists call this a "food fall."

"When a large food fall occurs, like a 250-plus pound swordfish, the ability to detect and locate the food, and then maximize food intake, is the key to growth and survival," Auster wrote for one of NOAA's mission logs.

That wreckfish reminded us of the fight for survival

Dinner was served, but there was little to no room for the wreckfish to get in on some of the swordfish feasting action.

So the large fish did what it could in the situation and ambushed one of the small dogfish sharks instead.

"Using the [remotely operated vehicle] for cover, it demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks," Auster wrote.

The video is giving researchers a lot to consider about the inner workings of the deep sea.

"This rare and startling event leaves us with more questions than answers, but such is the nature of scientific exploration," Auster wrote.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38569

Reported Deaths: 1511
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12456787
Ramsey4911228
Dakota238291
Stearns237119
Anoka2241109
Nobles16696
Olmsted112915
Washington111440
Mower9522
Rice8447
Scott7344
Clay58738
Kandiyohi5731
Blue Earth4792
Wright4755
Todd4012
Carver3811
Sherburne3175
Lyon3162
Freeborn2920
Watonwan2340
Steele2311
Benton2173
St. Louis18015
Martin1695
Nicollet16912
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12515
Crow Wing10612
Pine1050
Le Sueur1031
Chisago1001
Otter Tail951
McLeod920
Carlton870
Dodge870
Polk822
Chippewa791
Unassigned7837
Isanti730
Waseca680
Douglas650
Itasca6412
Murray640
Meeker611
Morrison591
Becker560
Faribault560
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pipestone522
Pennington510
Renville352
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Brown312
Rock310
Beltrami300
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston260
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood180
Cass162
Roseau160
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Koochiching151
Wadena150
Kanabec141
Grant120
Marshall120
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen91
Clearwater80
Hubbard70
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31670

Reported Deaths: 722
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6638179
Woodbury325244
Black Hawk230158
Buena Vista171411
Johnson13148
Linn129482
Dallas128029
Marshall104919
Scott81510
Story7793
Pottawattamie73612
Wapello70830
Dubuque70222
Crawford6772
Muscatine64344
Sioux4770
Tama46529
Wright3861
Louisa36213
Jasper32517
Plymouth3225
Warren2901
Dickinson2663
Washington2439
Webster2292
Hamilton1891
Cerro Gordo1821
Boone1481
Clay1340
Clarke1322
Allamakee1314
Mahaska11617
Shelby1140
Clinton1121
Poweshiek1068
Carroll991
Pocahontas971
Bremer946
Des Moines922
Franklin900
Emmet880
Henry863
Cedar841
Taylor790
Hardin770
Monona770
Cherokee751
Floyd732
Marion700
Benton691
Guthrie664
Jefferson640
Sac640
Osceola620
Jones610
Butler572
Buchanan551
Humboldt551
Hancock540
Harrison540
Lee542
Calhoun532
Iowa530
Delaware511
Fayette510
Monroe516
Madison482
Clayton443
Lyon440
Davis411
Palo Alto410
Mitchell390
Winneshiek390
Grundy380
Mills370
Kossuth350
Howard340
Jackson320
Lucas314
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Union290
Winnebago290
Ida240
Cass230
Van Buren220
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Page210
Worth200
Unassigned170
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold160
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Albert Lea
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 87°
Austin
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Charles City
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 87°
Hot, sticky, and stormy
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events