It sparked an Internet viral frenzy when a dead specimen of the sea creature that typically lives in depths of 3,000 feet recently washed ashore in California. Now watch the first ever footage of the incredible anglerfish.
Earlier this week, a rare deep-sea fish with teeth resembling tiny shards of glass, a football-shaped body, and a long bioluminescent stalk on the top of its head washed ashore in California, to be spotted by a beachgoer. The sea creature was later identified as a female Pacific football fish, one of more than 200 species of anglerfish.
These deep-sea creatures live in total darkness. At a depth of 3,000 feet, encounters with other fish and prey are infrequent, so anglerfish evolved to feed on whatever fits in their 18-inch mouths. To lure prey in the dark, these fish use an extended fin that resembles a fishing rod with a glowing bulb at the end. The bulb gets its glow from tiny bacteria called Photobacterium, which live within the pores of the anglerfish’s esca, the Smithsonian reports.
How the anglerfish ended up washing ashore on the California beach is unknown.
Because the deep seas are so dark, for a long time scientists weren’t able to gather much information about how these fish actually live.
Then, in 2014 a remotely operated submarine controlled by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute filmed an anglerfish in its environment for the first time, giving amazing new insight into into the lives of these creatures.
Wow, what an incredible animal!