Out of all the shark species in the world, hammerhead sharks are the most mysterious. These sea creatures got their name from the unusual shape of their heads, but their heads don’t really resemble a hammer. Scientists prefer to use the term “cephalofoil” when referring to the unique shape of the shark’s head. According to David Jacoby of the Zoological Society of London, hammerhead sharks are “the youngest extant species of sharks.” While the first shark species appeared 450 million years ago, hammerheads are only 20 million years old.
Scientists have proposed several theories about the unique shape of the hammerhead shark. One of those theories suggested that the “flattened head enhances the shark’s swimming performance.” Another possible explanation is that the unique shape improves the shark’s sense of sight and smell. But perhaps the most bizarre theory scientists have postulated is that hammerhead sharks use their unique heads as a form of weapon to help them handle their prey better.