WATCH: ‘Phantom’ Sharks Captured ‘Dueling’ in Extremely Rare Encounter Off New England

by Sean Griffin

In this rare footage, these ‘phantom’ sharks are seen swimming off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The sharks, also known as porbeagle, could be dueling over a mate or hunting grounds.

The crazy video and images were captured by Joe and Lauren Romeiro. They are a husband and wife duo that researches sharks through “non-invasive sampling techniques.” They got up close to these ‘phantom’ sharks. The footage is rare because these sharks normally stick to deeper, colder waters.

In the insane footage which can be seen here, two sharks first appear in the dark waters, circling each other. Then, three other sharks hop in the fray in what the duo calls “the mother-load.” Seeing one porbeagle is rare enough, so seeing a group is incredibly rare.

The Romeiros dubbed this shark the ‘phantom shark’ because of how rare sightings remain. The shark, named for it’s porpoise-like shape and ‘beagle’-like hunting skills, is a close relative of great whites and Makos.

No deaths by the teeth of this breed have ever been recorded, although the shark could do plenty of damage. They can weigh as much as 600 pounds and grow to 12 feet long.

‘There are very few photos or film footage of free-swimming porbeagle sharks anywhere in the world,” Joe said in a statement. Photos of the rare shark can be viewed here.

“We were out at night on our research vessel to capture what few have ever witnessed, hoping for just one porbeagle but then we saw five interacting with each other. It was the motherload.”

‘Phantom’ Porbeagle Sharks Rarely Seen in Video Footage

Out of 500 shark species, the porbeagle shark owns a distinction. It is one of only five shark species that is able to warm its body. This allows it to dominate Northern Atlantic waters during winter months. During these months, other sharks flee south to escape the colder waters.

Recent footage captured by the Romeiros shows two porbeagles challenging each other. Three others appear shortly after.

“We want to better understand their movements, behaviors and social interactions,” Lauren said in a statement.

The video shows the team patiently waiting for the first porbeagle to become visible. They entice the shark with bait.

Then, after a while, a shark appears from the depths and nabs the bait.

‘Traditionally sharks have only been studied through methods that involve capturing a few individuals. It does not provide a true and full picture of the behavior of the whole population such as where they are spending their time and why, because the method can alter their natural behavior,’ said Lauren. 

“Our research technique allows us to observe many different animals at one time as well as at different life stages, showing that we don’t need to rely on catching animals for data.”