Scientists working on the southern coast of Portugal made an unexpected find this summer when they came across a five-foot Frilled Shark. This prehistoric sea creature was so named due to the “frilliness” of its 300 teeth, which experts believe are aimed at trapping its food.

Previous remains of the monster creature date back at least 80 Million Years, meaning the shark (well, not the one in question obviously) was around at the same time as the mighty dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus Rex and his pals.

Prehistoric shark discovered purely by accident

As reported by the BBC, and can be seen from the photo gallery above, the frilled shark’s head is similar to that of a snake, while its five-foot body more closely resembles an eel. However, it’s those 300 teeth that really grab attention in a big way. Professor Margarida Castro at the University of the Algarve was quoted as saying the shark uses that frill of terrifying teeth when hunting fish, squid and other sharks for its dinner.

Ironically, researchers were working on something completely different when they came across the Prehistoric Shark.

The scientists were involved in a European Union project, aimed at reducing unwanted catches by commercial fishermen at the time. Instead, they caught something so rare, it was definitely a prize.

As reported by Newsweek, the shark in question was found by a Portuguese trawler, at around 2,300 feet under the ocean just off the Algarve coast.

However, this isn’t the first time someone has spotted a frilled shark. Reportedly their habitat covers a huge area, as it has previously been seen off the coasts of Scotland, the Spanish Canary Islands, and Norway. According to a report by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere, they have also been seen off the coast of Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

Frilled shark hasn’t changed in 80 million years

Newsweek notes that according to researchers, the frilled shark has never evolved – it has been the same, inside and out, all the way from the Cretaceous Period (along with the dinosaurs, who weren't so lucky) right up until today. The shark, dubbed “Chlamydoselachus Anguineus,” is believed to have remained the same due to a lack of nutrients in its deep sea habitat. According to Japanese researchers, who studied a frilled shark caught in Suruga Bay some 10 years ago, the creature’s diet consists mainly of cephalopods, including octopus and squid.

It is also quite rare for live sharks to be captured for research purposes.

The BBC reported that Samuel Garman, the first researcher ever to study the shark species, believed its snake-like movement might have been the inspiration for the old sailor tales of monstrous sea serpents.

Because it prefers to hang out so deep under the ocean, very little footage has been captured of the frilled shark in its native habitat. However, footage was captured of the shark found off the coast of Japan, which is included below.