I have been asked, what was the rarest animal I have encountered in the wild?
I think it must be the Prickly Shark, a rare deep sea shark that is classified as near threatened. During a dive trip to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to explore the depths of 300 meter in a Deep Sea Submersible. The Sub was a custom-built capable of carrying 1 pilot and 2 passengers. The descent took about 2hrs, during which, I had a good chat with the pilot. He explained that the rarest animal he had come across, was the Prickly Shark. Lady luck would have it that we came across the elusive on that very dive.
We were exploring a deep underwater mountain named ‘Everest’. At 190 meters, the pilot suddenly got really excited. He actually started swearing. When he announced the encounter of the Prickly Shark to Control, I could hear the commotion at the other end. The shark was large and moved around sluggishly. It had a dolphin-like snout and a nonchalant demeanour about it, save for the moment when it got startled by the submersible’s spot lights.
While in the sub, I did not really share the same enthusiasm as the pilot because I did not know or understand what I was looking at. Nevertheless, the excitement sank in when we returned to the mother boat and was congratulated by the crew.