13 Alien Shark Photos To Get You Pumped For Shark Week’s Most Exciting Special

Shark Week has begun in earnest but you don't have to wait until you're plopped in front of the television to get in on the excitement. Just pictures of sharks can satisfy that craving. One Shark Week special is Alien Sharks: Close Encounters, which airs July 6. What are these terrifying creatures? Pardon my Dad joke, but they're definitely something to phone home about. It's also one of the most educational aspects of Shark Week since these aren't your typical finned creature, so be sure to take notes! Not everything is shock and awe this week on Discovery, you may actually learn something.

What exactly does it mean? "Alien shark" is a generalized term for bizarre species of shark. They come in many varieties and names that tend to lend themselves to fantasy rather than science fiction — like ghost sharks and goblin sharks. Many are found deep in the ocean, and many haven't been seen for years.

Can't wait for the special? The ocean is a lot more terrifying and alien to us than we sometimes think on casual trips to the beach, and I'm glad Shark Week is acknowledging that. Here are some stunning photos of alien sharks that will pique your curiosity and whet your appetite for more.

Frilled Shark

Also pictured above, these guys are long and like to wriggle.

Lantern Sharks

These are the sharks that glow in the dark.

He's so little!

Okay, I may have been looking at lantern sharks for too long now because this is cute to me. Let's move on.

Ghost Sharks

It may share a name with a SyFy original movie, but the Ghost Shark is pretty cool looking.

Whoa.

The eyes are what gets me with this one.

Goblin Sharks

Well this resigned fish is just the saddest thing I've ever seen.

I'm not that into Goblin Sharks, thank you very much. That jaw functions exactly like you think, by the way.

Megamouth Sharks

It's not difficult to figure out how the Megamouth Shark got his name.

Here's an older photo to give you one kind of perspective.

Basking Sharks

Another big-mouthed shark, here. It looks more like a whale!

Stethacanthus

I don't actually know if this prehistoric shark counts as an alien, and it's a painting not a photo, but this guy is so crazy looking that you've just got to see.