Rare prehistoric snake shark caught off Portugal’s coast, ‘the stuff of nightmares’

This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

A rare and elusive frilled shark was caught off the coast of Algarve, Portugal and its appearance has people terrified, the Sun reported.

The shark has the body of a snake and the head of a shark, including frightening teeth seen in photos of the sea dweller.

The species dates back 80 million years, making it a “living fossil,” according to the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere.

It was captured by fish stock researchers from the European Union, the Sun reported.

The shark, which is a male, was five feet long and caught at a depth of 2,300 feet.

Because of its elusiveness the shark has not been caught and brought to a research lab previously, according to the Sun.

University of the Algarve professor Margarida Castro said the shark gets its name from the frilled arrangement of its teeth that help it to capture fish, squid and other sharks.

It is believed that the serpent-esque way the snake moves inspired the ancient tales of sea serpents.

The shark has been spotted rarely by humans.

In 2004 it was spotted off the Southeastern coast of the United States, Fox News reported.

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It was also spotted in Japan in January 2007, in Australia in December, 2014 and April 2017 it was spotted in the Tokyo Bay, Japanese website Mantan reported.

Social media users were frightened by the photos.

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Carmine Sabia

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