Scientists Solve Mystery of See Through Barreleye Fish

Duncan Riley - Author

Oct. 10 2016, Updated 4:52 a.m. ET

Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have solved an over 50-year mystery behind the Barreleye fish, finding that the fish can rotate its eyes, but only after discovering that the front of its head is see through.

The see through Barreleye Fish (Macropinna microstoma) was first discovered in 1939, but the transparent nature of the fish wasn’t known. The fish had previously been caught in nets, but the see through part is destroyed when the fish dies. The eyes on the fish are unique, facing upwards, so it was thought that it couldn’t see in front of itself. The Monterey Bay team sent remotely operated vehicles to the ocean floor to study the fish, only to make the remarkable discovery.

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The team managed to capture a live specimen, and over several hours observed the fish rotating its eyes. The see through portion of the Barreleye allows the fish to literally see through itself when looking for food at different angles above it.

What ever the science, the see through fish is simply a marvel of nature.

(img credits: Discovery)


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