Rare one-eyed albino shark found

Scientists at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine Sciences (CICIMAR) in Mexico’s picturesque La Paz are perplexed by the discovery of an extremely rare Cyclops baby shark foetus earlier this year.

Pale white in colour and with one eye in the middle of its nose, the creature was discovered by a local fisherman and is believed to be the only one of its kind ever verified as real by scientists.

“It’s a Cyclops shark, it’s an exceptional case, because there have never been international reports, scientific reports, nothing of that sort about a shark that has these features,” said marine scientist at CICIMAR Marcela Bejarano.

The male embryo was cut from its pregnant mother by local fisherman Enrique Leon Lucero after she had become trapped in a net.

“In the trap was a big shark and inside were her young. By the time we reached the shore, we had cut her up and found that (inside) was a shark with one eye, we had never seen anything like that. There were nine young but this one had no more than one eye,” said Mr Lucero.

Measuring 22 centimetres, scientists attribute the single eye to a rare combination of birth defects with the eye caused by the malformation of the embryonic brain called cyclopida, which also occurs in other animals, including humans.