A one-eyed 'cyclops' shark fetus discovered in July is the real thing, according to scientists.
The animal was discovered inside its mother, a dusky shark, who was caught in the Sea of Cortez earlier this year.
Discovery News report that when photos of the shark first surfaced in the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing blog, many people thought the images were too bizarre to depict anything legitimate. The cute little bug-eyed individual looks more like a happy cartoon character than a real shark, especially when its mouth is held open.
The 22-inch-long (56-centimeter-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, according to National Geographic.
Though the one-eyed shark was taken from his mother's womb, had she survived, it appears likely that the animal would not have survived long in the wild.
"This is extremely rare," Felipe Galvan Magana, a shark expert, told the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing blog in July. "As far as I know, less than 50 examples of an abnormality like this have been recorded."
The cyclops shark is not the only strange find in the natural world in recent months. MSNBC cites recent claims by Russian scientists that they had discovered "conclusive proof" of the existence of a Yeti, and other claims about the discovery of the lair of a mythical "Kraken" - a giant squid.
Check out photos of more sharks in the slideshow below: