A scary-looking deep-sea fish is getting a lot of attention based upon the photo published recently. While the new fish is the stuff of nightmares, the oceanography researchers at Nova Southeastern University’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences say the discovery of a new species of Ceratioid anglerfish in the northern Gulf of Mexico only proves that there’s so much more to discover in the oceans.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the oldest snake fossil in the world was unusual find mostly because it had legs and feet.
The new Anglerfish is also considered unusual. The only thing normal about this particular scary-looking deep-sea fish is the long, angular pole that is growing from the top of its head. This particular feature is common to all anglerfish, and it’s used like a fishing pole.
“This fish dangles the appendage until an unsuspecting fish swims up thinking they found a meal, only to quickly learn that they are, in fact, a meal themselves,” the press release on the Nova Southeastern University website explained.
Researcher Tracey Stutton said they discovered the scary-looking deep-sea fish in ocean depths ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 meters. Sutton discovered three female specimens of the new anglerfish species ranging in size from 30 to 95 millimeters in length.
But it’s the sheer length of the oceans that provide unique discoveries every year.
“As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there’s so much more we can learn about our oceans,” he said. “Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there’s a good chance we’ll see something we’ve never seen before – the life at these depths is really amazing.”
The scary-looking deep-sea fish lives at ocean depths where there is no light to be seen. The reason the anglerfish has that odd-looking appendage on its head is because it generates bioluminescence, which means it can produce its own light source.
“Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete,” said Dr. Sutton. “Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home.”
Sutton says the specimens of the scary-looking deep-sea fish will find a permanent home in the Ichthyology Collection at the University of Washington, which is home to the world’s largest anglerfish collection. Their full report has been published in the international scientific journal The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Copeia.
[Image via Dr. Theodore Pietsch]