These 400-Year-Old Sharks Are Creepy As Hell

Sharks are large, swift predators that jump out of Peter Benchley novels to terrorize New England beaches. Thanks to pop culture, it's hard to picture them any other way. We'll help you with that ...

In its version of <i>Jaws</i>, beachgoers just let it eat them out of pity. Justin/FlickrIn its version of Jaws, beachgoers just let it eat them out of pity.

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That zombie-looking fish is the Greenland shark, which grows about one-third of an inch per year. You'll note that it has a whole lot of inches. That's why researchers decided to use radiocarbon dating to find out how long these things live. Their estimate? Four hundred flippin' years. The oldest specimen found was "392, plus or minus 120 years," which ... seems like a huge margin. On the one hand, no matter what, it's still a really old shark. On the other, it might have been alive at the same time as both Christopher Columbus and Justin Bieber.

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Their extremely slow rate of development means the sharks are unable to breed until they're 156 years old. Imagine being in puberty for over a century. You might look a little worse for wear too.

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