Rare megamouth shark washes up onshore in the Philippines

Discovery is one of only 60 sightings ever recorded

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An extremely rare megamouth shark washed up on the shore of a beach in the Philippines this week, where it was discovered by baffled residents. 

The unusual creature was found in Pio Duran, between the Albay and Masbate provinces of central Philippines on Wednesday morning.

The 15ft shark was already dead when it was discovered and the cause of death remains unknown. It is being stored in an ice plant until a necropsy is performed, according to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.

The name ‘megamouth’ refers to the disproportionate size of its huge head and the enormous capacity of its mouth, which is kept open as it swims in order to filter water for plankton and jelly fish.

Fishermen use a stretcher with steels bars to carry a rare 15-foot (4.5m) megamouth shark

The sharks can grow to up to 18ft long and were only recognised as a species almost 30 years ago when the first megamouth was caught in the sea anchor of a US Navy ship off the coast of Hawaii.

Researchers say only 60 sightings of megamouth sharks have ever been recorded.