Scientists Capture Rare Footage Of Transparent Fish That Looks Like It Came Straight Out Of A Sci-Fi Movie

Scientists working off the coast of California, United States, have captured footage of a fish that looks like it could have come straight out of a science fiction movie. The remarkable footage shows a creature with a translucent head which stores its eyes, nose, and brain.

Known as a barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma,) the fish is almost never seen by fishermen or researchers, and for most involved in the project, it was the first time they had ever come across the strange ocean-dweller. In fact, it is only the ninth time that such a fish has been seen despite over 5,600 dives taken by the research submarine.

The fish was caught on camera off Monterey Bay, by a camera attached to a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV), guided by the team from with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The footage was caught at around a depth of 2,132 feet (650 meters), in one of the deepest canyons of the Pacific Ocean.

"The barreleye first appeared very small out in the blue distance, but I immediately knew what I was looking at. It couldn't be mistaken for anything else. We all knew that this was likely a once in a lifetime experience."

Barreleye-fish live at great depths, around 2,000 to 2,600 feet beneath the ocean's surface. The fish are specially designed to exist in low-light environments and use theor eyes and nose that are located within the bizarre translucent fluid-filled bulb that covers their heads in order to stalk prey and avoid predators.

It is thought, based on limited evidence, that barreleye-fish sit calmly in the ocean waiting for much smaller fish to pass by, which they then attack and devour. Their encased eyes have the ability to look upwards, which means that they can actively pounce on prey from below.

While the fish were caught in nets and had been documented since the 1930s, the nets that caught them had destroyed their head bulb, meaning that this feature wasn't actually known about until the early 2000s.

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