A young fisherman who set out to reel in some halibut got the shock of his life when an alien-like fish took his bait.
Oscar Lundahl, 19, nearly jumped out of his fishing boat when he saw the bizarre-looking species with bulbous eyes on the end of his line.
The specimen is in actual fact a ratfish, whose Latin name Chimaeras Monstrosa Linnaeus is aptly derived from a Greek mythical monster that had the head of a lion and tail of a dragon.
The fish – a relative of the shark that dates back 300 million years – live in deep water and are very rarely caught.
Although ratfish are harmless to humans and feed on crustaceans like crabs and sea snails, their odd appearance is enough give any angler worth their salt the creeps.
Their huge eyes are believed to have been developed to help them see at such dark depths.
Oscar was fishing for the blue halibut when he caught the ratfish by mistake off the island of Andoya in northern Norway.
He had four hooks on his line with mackerel as bait and was fishing in 2,600ft of water at the time.
Oscar, a fishing guide for Nordic Sea Angling, said: “We were looking for blue halibut which is a rare species about five miles off shore.
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“I had four hooks on one line and felt something quite big on the end of it.
“It took me about 30 minutes to reel it in because it was 800 metres deep.
“There were two halibut on two of the hooks and I was really happy about that and then I saw there was something else.
“It was pretty amazing. I have never seen anything like it before. It just looked weird, a bit dinosaur-like.
“I didn’t know what it was but my colleague did.”
Sadly, due to the sudden change in pressure, the ratfish did not survive being hauled up out of the water so Oscar took it home and pan-friend fillets of it in butter.
He said: “Despite its ugly appearance it was really tasty. It is a bit like cod but tastier.”