This enormous Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate in the world, it has been claimed. In fact, it is estimated to be up to 512-years-old (meaning it was born before Shakespeare).
Living in the icy waters of the Arctic, the giant creature was located by scientists. By measuring its size, they suggested the shark could have been born as early as 1505… the year Martin Luther became a monk, and King Henry VIII called off his engagement with Catherine of Aragon. The Greenland shark lives in -1C to 10C waters and can swim as deep as 7,200ft. It is said to weigh more than a tonne.
This particular shark was measured at 18ft in length, meaning it could be anywhere between 272 to 512-years-old. How do they know? This particular species grows at a rate of 1cm a year.
According to The Sun, the shark’s potential age was revealed in a study in journal Science. It was the oldest of 28 Greenland sharks to be analysed. Greenland sharks have an estimated life span of 400 years, and usually spend their time swimming around looking for a mate.