ROV grabs first living glimpse of "black sea devil"
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 1:38 PM - You can forgive the hyperbole of the first person to call this kind of anglerfish the "black sea devil."
Its proper name is melanocetus, but the more diabolical moniker fits it better, thanks to that enormous mouth jammed with teeth.
We say "enormous," but that's just relative to body size. The scientists at the Monterrey Bay Aquatic Research Institute (MBARI)who glimpsed this creature using an underwater ROV say it was only around 9 cm long.
The sub spotted it at a depth of 600 m. Like other species of anglerfish, marked as such by the signature bio-luminescent lure hanging in front of those jaws, the black sea devil lives at such depths that it's almost never seen alive. In fact, MBARI says this is the first time this particular species has been spotted living in its natural habitat.
"Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat," MBARI researchers write on the institute's YouTube channelwhere the video premiered. "Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles."
If you've got the time, you really should head over to their channel. They've got tons of awesome videos of rarely-seen underwater denizens. Here's a three-minute mini-documentary of a deep sea octopus:
And a little on the weird side, here's one they did for Halloween featuring their pick of blob-shaped sea life: