THE mystery behind the bizarre creature pulled from the ocean earlier this week has been solved.
The pink and white animal with alien-esque eyes caught off the cost of Cabo, Mexico, sparked a debate about the identity of the sea creature, reports The Sun.
Experts have now confirmed that the ‘alien fish’ is an albino swell shark.
Pisces Sportfishing Fleet, who shared the photo on their Facebook page on Tuesday, wrote: “Alien fish mystery solved — After studying the photos, the experts agree that the strange fish is an albino swell shark — still alive and well!”
The photos originated from Jaime Rendon, Captain of Dr Pescado, whose client caught the bizarre-looking creature approximately one mile off the shore in 370ft-deep water.
Although the critter has the skin and three rows of small teeth, like sharks, some of its other features cast doubt over the identity of the specimen.
Most sharks have between five and seven gills on each side of their head whereas this sea-dweller only had three, and the captain said the most unusual feature was its weirdly shaped greenish eyes.
He said: “I was really surprised, but what caused most impact were the eyes, so strange.”
Thinking the ‘alien fish’ could be endangered, Mr Rendon released it back into the wild.
Some people suspected it was a swell shark due to its huge belly. The species are known for filling up with water or air to make it difficult for predators to attack or swallow them.
But there were still doubts.
On Wednesday, Pisces Sportfishing Fleet wrote: “Even if it is a swell shark, why is it this colour and why does it only have three gill slits?
“The scientists are still reviewing and will let us know when they have an answer.”
Experts later confirmed the ocean beast is a swell shark, or scientifically known as a Cephaloscyllium ventriosum.
Usually these sharks have yellowish-brown skin with dark splotches.
The pinkish colour of this particular catch indicates that it is either albino or leucitic, which means it lacks total or partial pigmentation.
Swell sharks are harmless to humans and can be found in the Eastern Pacific.
This story first appeared in The Sun.