Fun Goblin Shark Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Goblin shark facts are quite fascinating to read.
All ages
Read time: 6.3 Min

Mitsukurina Owstoni, or commonly known as goblin shark, is quite a rare species of shark to be found on the surface of any aquatic area. Though the juveniles are more prone to prefer shallow waters, these sharks are known to live at a depth between 890 ft to a maximum of 4300 ft underwater.

They have two fins and a set of five gills as they belong to the order of Lamniformes.

They are regarded as being the only living specimen of the Mitsukurina family tree. Goblin sharks have a very low pigmentation rate and are usually recognized with a whitish-pink or whitish-purple skin color due to the blood visibility through their translucent skin.

Adding to the list of one of the many big marine animals, the Museum of Zoology approves this animal of being a living fossil species.

The goblin shark's long spade-like nose proves to be an aid for their consumption as their weirdly big and wide opening jaws and needle-like teeth protrude while feeding. The records suggest that the jaws consist of 35-53 teeth on the upper side and around 31-62 teeth on the lower side depending on the size of the shark.

The upper jaw is regarded as the strongest amongst the two.

Read on to discover more about this unique shark. If you love reading about marine life and want to know more about the creatures living there, check out these interesting facts about Sally lightfoot crab, and spinner dolphin.

Goblin Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Goblin Shark?

The Goblin shark is an animal species related to fish.

What class of animal does a Goblin Shark belong to?

Goblin sharks belong to the Mitsukurinidae genus of the fish class of Animalia.

How many Goblin Sharks are there in the world?

Even though the Mitsukurinidae family is dated 120 million years ago, today only one species of the goblin shark exists with no research or record of the exact living number.

Where does a Goblin Shark live?

The goblin sharks live in the depths of the sea and come near the water surface specifically during the night. They are usually found in the areas nearing the Indian oceans, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. A few specimens have been spotted in the deep sea waters near Australia, Japan, California, Sri Lanka, and Florida too.

What is a Goblin Shark's habitat?

The distribution of goblin shark habitat is high in the sea areas' depths. It is majorly sighted in Japan, California, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Florida.

Who do Goblin Sharks live with?

They have a snout mouth and are considered to be ugly creatures usually caught living a solitary life similar to that of the other shark species.

How long does a Goblin Shark live?

Goblin shark lifespan can range anywhere between 16-60 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

Goblin shark females are known to be viviparous in nature. The female sharks keep their eggs within themselves, a process known as internal fertilization, and then give live birth to a young baby shark.

The animals giving live birth are called viviparous. The young shark has a size of 32 in, which is information based on the specimens found earlier.

What is their conservation status?

Even though the Goblin shark skeleton is considered to be a living fossil, the IUCN has listed goblin sharks to be of Least Concern conservation status.

Goblin Shark Fun Facts

What do Goblin Sharks look like?

This species of shark is considered to be on the uglier side due to its distinctive features. The snout shark mouth with sharp teeth and the ability of their jaws to extend widely while feeding makes it look potentially dangerous.

Goblin shark's long snout in front of their mouth helps them prey on small fish, crabs, and squid with the goblin shark teeth. They have small fins that help them breathe under the water.

Goblin sharks have numerous teeth in their large jaw.

*Please note, this is an image of a basking shark that resembles a goblin shark. If you have goblin shark pictures, let us know at

How cute are they?

In all reality, goblin sharks along with being dangerous are not at all considered to be cute animals.

How do they communicate?

Just like the other species of sharks, goblin sharks are quite flexible and communicate with their body by arching, nodding, and opening their jaws wide. Goblin shark's skin/scales have the ability to sense the prey through vibrations caused in the sea.

How big is a Goblin Shark?

Though female goblin sharks can grow as big as 18-20 ft in size, it is a rare sight. Hence, these species are not included in the big shark list with an average size of 12-13 ft. They are just a few inches smaller than the Pacific sleeper sharks that are recorded to be 14.4 ft big.

How fast can a Goblin Shark swim?

As they have a flabby body, bad eyesight, and tiny fins, they are not considered to be fast swimmers. Still, if need be they can swim as fast as 20 kph or 15 mph.

How much does a Goblin Shark weigh?

The average weight of this living fossil is recorded to range between 330–460 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Although the goblin shark has different names in Japanese, African, and other languages, there is no distinction in the species names based on their gender.

What would you call a baby Goblin Shark?

Just like the other species of sharks, a goblin shark baby too is referred to as a pup.

What do they eat?

The feeding style of the goblin shark is quite distinct. The goblin shark jaws tend to widen up to three inches to catch the prey.

The list of goblin shark prey includes crabs, squids, and different small species of fish that are caught by them. Goblin shark attacks the prey with the snout in front of the mouth. The goblin shark bite then completes the feeding process by widening the jaws and eating.

Are they poisonous?

As there have been no reports of any goblin sharks attacking human beings with the goblin shark teeth, the record of them being poisonous is still unavailable.

Would they make a good pet?

Considering the distribution of goblin sharks is low and they have a history of being labeled as a living fossil, it is quite rare to have goblin sharks as pets and not advisable.

Did you know...

Along with being called an 'elfin shark', these sharks got their common name based on the Japanese mythical creature named Tenguzame. The Japanese fisherman named the shark so because just like the mythical creature, they couldn't ignore its big mouth with the long nose and a red face.

According to the anatomy, the goblin shark tooth among the upper jaw teeth are long, sharp, and are stronger as it is easier for them to feed on their prey.

Although they have a weirdly long nose, this structure of their mouth helps them to be predators right from birth making even out-of-reach prey easily caught as their mouth can open as wide as 111 degrees straight without any extra effort.

A fun fact about this is the long flat nose is said to shrink as age increases in this species.

Are they dangerous?

Even though goblin sharks have wide-opening jaws with strong upper teeth, they are dangerous only for marine creatures. This species of living fossil is rarely caught on the surface and has not come in contact with human beings.

Hence is not considered to be a danger to humans. However, since it is so big in size, it could pose a threat to humans.

Do humans eat them?

Although many countries have engaged in relishing shark meat, due to its rarity, fishing of goblin sharks is rarely done. Though their meat can be dried and salted and sold just as other shark meats, this species is rarely considered a delicacy for any human being in historical events.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including harbour porpoises, or a Caribbean reef shark.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our goblin shark coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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