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05/08/2014 12:15 pm ET Updated May 08, 2014

Megamouth Shark Captured Off The Coast Of Japan Is One Of Only Several Dozen Spotted (VIDEO)

There was something large and extremely rare lurking in the waters off the coast of Japan -- until the deep sea creature was pulled from a fishing trap last month.

The megamouth shark was put on display at the Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka City, where crowds were able to see it undergo a public necropsy on May 6, HuffPost Japan reports.

The female shark, which weighs nearly 1,500 pounds and measures at least 13 feet, was captured about a half-mile down in the waters near Shizuoka, located off the southern coast of central Japan.

Dubbed an "alien shark" for its odd-shaped head, the elusive fish lives in deep-sea waters and only nears the surface at night to hunt. Similar to the extinct "megamouth" shark species, the fish uses its massive mouth to engulf plankton.

Very few megamouth sharks have been spotted since they were discovered in 1976, and even fewer have been caught. As Nippon TV notes, the specimen is believed to be only the 58th megamouth shark ever seen.

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