An almost 400-year-old Greenland shark has been recorded in the Arctic and has set a new record for being the oldest living vertebrate.

Scientists made a startling discovery after studying a shark whose age was estimated to be at least 392 years. The shark would have reached breeding maturity at around 150 years old.

The Greenland shark found in the Arctic region sets a new record and could very well be the oldest living vertebrate on the planet.

The research is published in the journal Science.

The researchers used a technique called radiocarbon dating to assess the age of the creature and estimated that it could be born as early as 1505, before Galileo was born and before the fall of the Spanish Armada! It’s phenomenal when you think of it!

The Greenland shark normally lives in temperature less than -1 degree Celcius, and the creatures can swim as deep as 7,200 feet, weighing more than a tonne.

According to various reports, the shark measured a staggering 18ft in length.

As this particular species of shark grows at a rate of 1 cm a year, the shark can be anywhere between 272 to 512 years old, but further carbon dating of the shark’s eye revealed it to be at the top end of the age scale.

Scientists have been monitoring 28 Greenland sharks in the Arctic and this is the oldest of the lot.

These sharks have an estimated lifespan of 400 years and  spend their time swimming around looking for food and a mate.