Rare Cyclops Shark Discovered in Gulf Near California

10/19/2011 11:33 AM ET

Rare Cyclops Shark Discovered in Gulf - Near California. A National Geographic, marine biologists in Mexico has confirmed that the strange creature is indeed a rare “cyclops shark.”  They look like something from another planet, suggesting that it’s an alien fish, but they are more closer to home.

It was discovered by an unsuspecting fisherman, who cut the one-eyed fetus from the belly of a pregnant dusky shark he caught in the Gulf of California earlier this year. Since cyclops have never been caught outside the womb, it’s unlikely that this little guy would have survived in the wild.

In the view of the confirmation, photos of the cyclops have gone viral around the web.

STORY: Shark Attack Survivors

The 22-inch-long fetus has a single, functioning eye at the front of its head-the hallmark of a congenital condition called cyclopia, which occurs in several animal species, including humans.

The images of the one-eyed cyclops shark that surfaced recently on the Web have been confirmed real and not manipulated by researchers.

The fetus was discovered near Cerralvo Island, Mexico, in the Gulf of California when fisherman Enrique Lucero Leon caught a pregnant dusky shark legally. It was inside this pregnant shark that he found the one-eyed variant.

“Cyclopia is a rare congenital disorder which happens 1 in 16,000 born animals and 1 in 250 in embryos,” according to a California marine biologist.

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