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There's a new shark in town, and this one glows in the dark...

In a year replete with shark-related news stories, the Ninja Lanternshark may be the oddest one yet.

shark1 Source: JOSF

2015 HAS IN many respects been the year of the shark.

Most of the many, many stories that emerged were of the tragic variety, so the arrival of the Ninja Lanternshark is thankfully a little less negative.

This new species of shark (although there are many other types of lanternshark) has just been discovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean off Central America by a team from California’s Pacific Shark Research Centre.

Their findings can be read here in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, although some of the new shark’s features are especially noteworthy.

It’s jet-black but, in an odd twist, also glows in the dark.

Its official Latin title, Etmopterus Benchleyi, may also look a little familiar to fans of Jaws.

shark2 Source: JOSF

Yep, this shark has been named for Peter Benchley, the writer of the original aquatic potboiler who also popped up in the original movie in a cameo as a news reporter.

The Ninja Lanternshark is roughly half a metre in length and can be found in depths of about 1,000 metres off Nicaragua and Panama. It’s the first such lanternshark to be found off the oceans of Central America.

It’s thought that its black complexion allows it to surprise its prey using the gloom at those depths as camouflage.

teeth Pictured: teeth

And why does it glow in the dark? To help it blend in with the limited light coming from the surface and thus render it camouflaged from above. Sneaky.

So why has it been given its, well, distinctive name?

According to researcher Vicky Vásquez, speaking to Hakai magazine, the suggestion came from her young cousins, who initially suggested the fish be christened the “super ninja shark”.

We think the Ninja Lanternshark has a better feel to it.

Read: Man killed by shark attack as he was clinging to a rescue buoy in Caribbean

Read: This is what the inside of a great white shark looks like

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