Are Goblin Sharks Dangerous: Why, How, When, Several Facts


With their unique snout and fierce appearance, goblin sharks have intrigued people. But, are they dangerous? Let’s find out.

Goblin sharks are not dangerous at all, especially to human beings. Over the years, there have been rare reports of goblin sharks attacking humans unprovoked but this species is pretty harmless in general. It prefers to swim in deep waters and remains aloof for the most part. 

There is a lot of speculation regarding the behavioral pattern of goblin sharks and whether they are dangerous. Let us look at some of the commonly asked questions in this regard. 

Image Credits: “File:Mistukurina owstoni museum victoria – head detail.jpg” by Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria is licensed under CC BY 3.0

What kind of teeth do goblin sharks have?

Before we can determine whether goblin sharks are dangerous or not, it is important to know more about their anatomy. Let’s explore more in this regard.

Goblin sharks have long and slender teeth. Their upper jaw has around 35-53 teeth which are long and needle-like to bite into their prey. The lower jaw consists of around 31-62 teeth which helps them in easily crushing the prey. However, these sharks usually feed on soft-bodied prey and don’t have to crush them often.

The sharp, needle-like teeth of goblin sharks can be quite dangerous and even fatal in some cases. That being said, these sharks usually do not attack humans.

Are goblin sharks aggressive?

Goblin sharks are characterized by their unique appearance and unpredictable behavior. But, are they aggressive? Let’s figure it out.

Generally speaking, goblin sharks are not aggressive and do not attack humans unprovoked. However, these creatures are predators and hunt for fish and other marine animals. They have long and narrow teeth with grooves that enable them to bite into their prey and they use the flattened back teeth to crush it. 

When hungry, goblin sharks may get quite aggressive and start frantically hunting for potential prey. 

How dangerous are goblin sharks?

Image Credits: Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) at Natural History Museum in Vienna by Peter Halasz

With their long, pointed snout, goblin sharks may come across as extremely dangerous? But, is it true? Let’s find out.

Goblin sharks are not very dangerous, especially not to humans. However, these sharks are natural predators and seek out fishes, crabs, and other marine animals. They can easily thrust their jaw forward to grab on to their prey, even from a distance. The protruding jaws help them grab onto their prey easily.

Therefore, although goblin sharks do not threaten humans, they are certainly a threat to other sea creatures.

Why are goblin sharks dangerous?

It is common to wonder what makes a goblin shark dangerous, especially to humans. Without much ado, let us find out. 

Goblin sharks are dangerous animals since they have long snouts and sharp teeth and can easily bite into and crush their prey. Besides, like all other sharks, they are curious animals and may sometimes bite humans out of curiosity. There have been instances of goblin sharks confusing humans with their natural prey too. 

Goblin sharks also occupy deep waters and humans usually do not swim that deep into the sea. So, these sharks, although dangerous, seldom encounter humans. 

Are goblin sharks dangerous to humans?

An interesting question that comes up with regard to goblin sharks is whether they are dangerous to humans. Let us figure it out.

Goblin sharks are not dangerous to humans. There have been very few instances of recorded, unprovoked goblin shark attacks on humans. This is because these sharks do not view humans as their natural prey. Their natural prey includes crabs and fish. As a result, they only attack humans out of curiosity or confusion. 

It is worth mentioning here that goblin sharks seldom encounter humans since they swim in deep waters. As a result, they are generally considered harmless. 

 Do goblin sharks bite?

A commonly asked question with regards to goblin sharks is whether they bite as some other shark varieties do. Let us learn the truth about this.

Goblin sharks bite, using their sharp, needle-like teeth. These sharks use what is termed as a ‘slingshot feeding mechanism’ by virtue of which they can thrust their jaws up to a considerable distance to catch their prey. Since goblin sharks are slow swimmers, their protruding jaws help them bite their prey. 

As such, through this unique feeding mechanism and their sharp teeth, goblin sharks can easily survive in deep waters where food is scarce.

Do goblin sharks attack other sharks?

Goblin sharks have become quite popular among explorers of the sea owing to their uniqueness. Let us find out if they pose a threat to other sharks.

Goblin sharks seldom attack other sharks but often fall prey to some shark species. The Blue Shark is said to be among its most common predators. Since goblin sharks live in deep waters, they mostly feed on soft-shelled animals like fishes, crabs, dragonfishes, and other crustaceans like decapods. 

Although it is rare, shark varieties often attack each other. This is more common in the traditionally aggressive shark species such as the Great White Sharks.

Are goblin sharks blind?

A common question that is often asked in the context of goblin sharks is whether they are blind. Allow us to tell you more in this regard.

Goblin sharks are not blind but have poor eyesight, like some other shark species. They have small eyes which get covered by their snout and therefore, it becomes difficult for them to detect obstacles. However, they are always on the lookout for flickers of possible prey in the waters. 

Goblin sharks have become accustomed to their vision being obstructed by their long snout. So, they are quite watchful and perceptive, and thus catch their prey with ease.

Which shark variety is the most dangerous?

Image Credits: “Great White Shark” by Elias Levy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sharks are dangerous creatures, but some are more dangerous than others. Let us take a look at them. 

The Great White Shark is the most dangerous shark species. Other than that, we have:

Goblin Sharks are fairly harmless and so are some other varieties like Nurse Shark, Basking Shark, etc. 

Conclusion

Despite their scary appearance, Goblin sharks aren’t dangerous creatures. You can find them in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. These animals have peculiar jaws which have intrigued spectators and collectors, which is why several measures have been taken to protect this species. All in all, goblin sharks pose no threat to human beings and remain fairly aloof in the ocean. 

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