A group of sailors in Italy were left puzzled after they came across a fish that resembled a cross between a pig and a shark.

A fish

A fish

The unusual creature was spotted floating on the water by the crewmen on a naval vessel anchored on the island of Elba. They quickly got the fish out of the water and found that it had the body of a shark and the distinctive face of a pig.

Expert analysis revealed that the animal is actually an angular roughshark, Oxynotus centrina, which is known as the pig-faced shark.

Yuri Tiberto, from the Elba Aquarium, said that several of the creatures have been spotted in the area.

He explained: "It is commonly called a 'pig fish' because when it comes out of the water it emits a kind of grunt.

"In the sea of the Tuscan archipelago, so rich in biodiversity... it is not uncommon to find this fish, and I can safely say that I often receive reports telling me of 'pig fish' that have ended up in local fishing nets."