When a dead specimen of the marine monster that normally dwells at depths of 3,000 feet came ashore in California, it triggered an Internet viral frenzy. Now you can see the spectacular anglerfish in action for the first time.
A unique deep-sea fish with teeth that look like small shards of glass, a football-shaped body, and a long bioluminescent stalk on the top of its head washed up on the beach in California earlier this week, attracting the attention of a beachgoer. A female Pacific football fish, one of more than 200 species of anglerfish, was subsequently identified as the marine monster.
These animals of the deep dwell in complete darkness. Anglerfish evolved to graze on whatever fits in their 18-inch jaws at a depth of 3,000 feet, where contacts with other fish and prey are rare. These fish utilize an extended fin that resembles a fishing rod with a bright bulb at the end to attract prey in the dark. According to the Smithsonian, the bulb obtains its light from microscopic bacteria called Photobacterium that dwell within the pores of the anglerfish’s esca.
It’s unclear how the anglerfish ended up washing up on a California beach.
Because the deep oceans are so dark, scientists haven’t been able to learn much about how these fish live for a long time.
Then, in 2014, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute used a remotely operated submarine to video an anglerfish in its natural habitat for the first time, providing incredible new insight into these creatures’ life.
Wow, what an incredible animal!