An odd-looking sea creature locally christened the "bubble shark" was discovered in the Philippines only last year by marine biologists. It is also described as an "inflatable shark" because of its defence mechanism to puff up to twice its size in the face of danger.
For environmental officials, the discovery of the weird shark adds new meaning to efforts to save the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor (VIPMC), a bustling sea-lane renowned for having some of the highest concentrations of shore-fish and underwater life in the world.
"It's a wonderful sign," said Lynette Laroya, assistant director of the environment department's Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. "It's a good indication that we have good diversity … And it shows that perhaps there are a lot of other species that have not been discovered out there."