A teenager deep-sea fishing off the coast of Norway the other day accidentally hooked an enormous, prehistoric fish. Then he ate it, because it is a natural human impulse not to do taxidermy but to find out what something tastes like.
To be fair, the fish, scientifically known as Chimaeras Monstrosa Linnaeus and more familiarly as a ratfish or a rabbit fish, didn’t survive the journey up to the surface; the pressure change over 800 meters (2,600 feet) was too much for its poor fishy body. The fisherman, Oscar Lundahl, told the Sun that it took half an hour to reel in the fish, which was on the same line as a pair of blue halibut, which he was actually trying to catch.
So Lundahl gutted the fish and took the fillets home and cooked them in butter. He said it tasted like “a better version of cod.”
Here are some fun facts about ratfish, which will not be coming to a restaurant near you anytime soon because they are both rare and have been classified a near-threatened species:
They live primarily in northwestern Europe.
Their eyes are so big because they need all the help they can get to see at the bottom of the ocean.
As a species, they are related to a shark that is estimated to be 300 million years old.
The males have a clasper on their foreheads that scientists believe are used to hang onto females during copulation.