Where Do Goblin Sharks Live?

The Animalista goblin shark close up
By: Vytautas
So where do goblin sharks live? We had to answer this burning question because sharknado didn't and it needed to be answered, so we took up the challenge.

Sharks are easily one of the most intriguing animals on the planet. Add more than 1,000 different shark species and their fossils that take us back 400 million years ago to that and we have a journey of a lifetime to discover them. Sharks have outlived many forms of life on Earth, including dinosaurs. New types and species of sharks and rays are still being discovered to this day. Out of this many, one does stand out as a mysterious foe that is rarely seen – goblin sharks. Let‘s find out not only where do goblin sharks live, but also get a quick 3-part tour of who they are, how they look, and what do goblin sharks eat? Let‘s begin. Shall we?

The Animalista goblin shark looking to feed

Who Are Goblin Sharks?

Before we dive deep into their realms and find out where do goblin sharks live, let‘s know a little more about them. Who are these folks? How do they look like and what do they eat?

Goblin Sharks are fascinating species who live 30-35 years approximately. They only appear near the surface at night and spend most of their lives in deep-sea darkness.

These rare species of sharks represent the Mitsukurinidae family. A family with a lineage of around 125 million years and has a distinctive pink color tone to their skin which brings us to our second part – their appearance and description.

Goblin Sharks Quick Description & Feeding Patterns

Where do goblin sharks live is what determines their lifestyle, food, and appearance. Their profile is what stands out the most about them. Nail-like teeth, flat snout, 3-4 meter body, and rapidly extending jaws create an intimidating presence, however; goblin sharks are known to be more of sluggish creatures due to its flabby body and small fins.

Goblin sharks hunt slow and steady near the surface floor and sometimes far above it. Using their low-density flesh and oily liver, they ambush their prey while avoiding detection. What helps more to compensate for the slow swimming? Is their long snout that senses electric fields of their prey and once it is ready, the specialized jaws snap forward to capture the prey.

Goblin shark’s main menu includes teleost fishes like dragonfish or rattails. The sharks also hunt for cephalopods and crustaceans.

The Animalista goblin shark feeding

Where Do Goblin Sharks Live? Distribution & Habitat

So, we know it is a sneaky hunter that roams somewhere deep and dark, but where do goblin sharks live and reside? The goblin sharks are known to have a global distribution as it has been caught in all three major oceans on the planet.

To comprehend better where do Goblin sharks live, we have to split their global presence into three major points:

  • Atlantic Ocean – Goblin sharks have been spotted near the northern Gulf of Mexico, Southern Brazil, French Guiana, and European coastlines adjustment to countries like Portugal, France, and islands like Madeira.
  • Oceania & Indo-Pacific – In these vast territories, Goblin sharks are known to live near South Africa‘s coast as well as Mozambique, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia.
  • Eastern Pacific – So far, goblin sharks have been spotted only off southern California in this ocean territory.

This only shows how to spread out they are while thriving in different ocean floors. But if we had to go even more in-depth of where do goblin sharks live, we would mostly find them within upper continental slopes, submarine canyons, and seamounts that are located at the depths of more than 100 meters (330 ft). Adult goblin sharks are usually found roaming deeper with than juveniles.

a close-up photo of a goblin shark


There you go! A Quick 3-part journey to meet the mysterious foe. As we mentioned before that where do goblin sharks live, it impacts a lot of their life aspects. This is also true to their conservation status which is marked as “Least Concerned” by IUCN.

Equipped with a strong deep-sea affinity, this proved to be a blessing for goblin sharks as their population remains stable, even in these difficult times for nature. Wide distribution, low capture, and incident rates come along with this.

As these alien-like creatures continue to roam our oceans, they are the living legacy of our planet. Its fascinating ancient history that still breathes and reminds us how complex, unique, and fascinating life can be.


By: Vytautas

Contributing Professional

The Animalista professional contributors are comprised of licensed Veterinarians and certified Veterinary Technicians who have been vetted by our team and have either authored or reviewed this content for accuracy. 


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