Oscar Lundahl works as a guide with a sports fishing tour company. He recently went out to fish for blue halibut off the coast of the island of Andoya in Norway. While on the hunt for the rare species, he caught something that nearly caused him to jump out of the boat.
"We were looking for blue halibut which is a rare species about five miles offshore,” he told The Sun. “I had four hooks on one line and felt something quite big on the end of it. It took me about 30 minutes to reel it in because it was over 2,600 feet deep."
What he reeled in was a catch that is sure to inspire bad dreams: a fish with gigantic eyes, a slimy mouth and a snake-like tail. To some, it resembles a prehistoric creature.
The frightening specimen is called a ratfish, a relative of the shark, which dates back 300 million years. Its Latin name, Chimaeras Monstrosa Linnaeus, stems from the mythical Greek creature that had a head of a lion and a tail of a dragon. It feeds on crustaceans like crabs and is considered non-threatening to humans - despite its ability to induce nightmares.
Since the fish was already dead when it was caught, Lundahl took it home and fried it up. Surprisingly, the creepy catch didn’t taste as bad as it looks.
"Despite its ugly appearance, it was really tasty,” Lundalh told the paper. “It is a bit like cod but tastier.”