Hammerhead sharks are among the strangest creatures on Earth, with seemingly misshapen heads that actually give them 360-degree vision. But what evolutionary path could lead to such bizarre features? As this video suggests, it might be a single freak mutation.

This clip from BBC Earth offers the only slightly crazy theory that hammerhead sharks are descended from a mutant shark that lived about 14 million years ago. This particular shark was the one-in-a-million extreme mutation whose strange hammerhead features were actually viable, giving it a chance to found an entirely new species. Obviously, this isn't terribly likely - and recent research into hammerhead vision suggests its anatomy would be an advantageous adaptation after all, potentially making such an unlikely origin unnecessary.


Still, on a planet this big and this ancient, it's not impossible for a species every once in a very great while to arise from an extreme mutation, and the hammerhead sharks seems as good a candidate as any. If nothing else, it's a truly awesome idea to consider.

Via Deep Sea News.