Fishermen in Indonesia were shocked when they stumbled upon a rare baby albino shark with just one eye.
The animal was found inside the belly of an adult shark, which had died after being caught in nets as the fishermen sailed across Maluku province on 10 October.
As the men cleaned the adult belly and cut it open to remove the gut, they were stunned to discover the tiny, white shark inside, which was one of three babies.
Along with its ‘milk’-like colour, the shark only had one eye in the middle of its head – its fins and other body parts already formed.
Andy, 29, said the adult shark may have been pregnant with the unique baby when it was accidentally caught in the net.
He said: “We found three babies inside its stomach, but one of them looked strange with only one eye. Its colour was strange too, like milk.”
The fisherman reported their find to the local marine office, before handing over the rare baby shark, which was already dead when they found it.
It turns out the baby not only had albinism – which would have forced the shark to producer low amounts of melanin, hence the pigment in the body – but also a condition called Cyclopia, a birth deformity that causes the embryo to form only one eye instead of two.
Recently, another fisherman was shocked to find another all-white shark, although this one was caught near the Isle of Wight, in the UK.
Jason Gillespie, 50, was out deep-sea fishing with some pals when he caught an entirely white tope shark, which measured around 3ft.
The beast was leucistic, which means it has lost all the pigment in its skin, leaving it snow white.
Jason, from Hampshire, usually releases tope sharks as soon as he catches them but he decided to reel this in so he could take some snaps of his unusual find before chucking it back out into the sea.
He said: “I’ve been fishing for 30 years and I’ve never seen one like that. Apparently it’s a condition where the pigment dies out of the skin colour.
“It’s similar to an albino, but they have red eyes generally.
“I caught it on Tuesday, off the Isle of Wight – what’re the chances? I have no idea. It’s the fish of a lifetime, one in a million.
“I think generally if they lose their colour they struggle to survive because they don’t have the same camouflage and they can’t hunt as effectively and they get picked up by predators.
“We released her as quick as possible, she was only on the boat for less than a minute.”
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