Sustainability Environment

Researchers capture footage of rare deep sea fish with translucent head

Story at a glance

  • Video footage of a deep sea fish with a translucent head was recorded during a recent dive off the coast of California.
  • The dive was organized by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • MBARI said it has seen the barreleye fish only nine times in 5,600 dives.

Video footage of a deep sea fish with a translucent head was recorded during a recent dive off the coast of California. 

A 55-second video captured between 2,000 and 2,600 feet beneath the ocean surface contains closeups of the rarely seen barreleye fish’s translucent head and tail and glowing green eyes. 

The dive was organized by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which said it has seen the barreleye fish only nine times in 5,600 dives. Light seen in the video was produced by one of MBARI’s remote operating vehicles. 

Researchers discovered that the Macropinna microstoma’s olfactory organs are in the place typically reserved for eyes. And its eyes are “two glowing green orbs behind its face that gaze up towards the top of its head.” 

“Its eyes look upwards to spot its favorite prey—usually small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of siphonophores—from the shadows they cast in the faint shimmer of sunlight from above,” MBARI said in a statement, according to Newsweek

“But how does this fish eat when its eyes point upward and its mouth points forward?” they added. “MBARI researchers learned the barreleye can rotate its eyes beneath that dome of transparent tissue.” 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


The aquarium notes that barreleye fish, which can grow to around 6 inches in length, were first described in 1939 and can be found in waters ranging from the Bering Sea to Japan and Baja California. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

THE REAL MOBY DICK: MYTHIC WHITE WHALE CAPTURED ON FILM IN CARIBBEAN

SHARKS SPOTTED IN FAMOUS RIVER THAT RUNS THROUGH LONDON

BIZARRE NEW SPECIES OF BEAKED WHALE DISCOVERED THAT LIVES 6,000 FEET DEEP

MORE THAN 12 MILLION INVASIVE ASIAN FISH REMOVED FROM TWO US LAKES

ANCIENT MAMMOTH TUSK DISCOVERED 10,000 FEET DEEP IN OCEAN OFF CALIFORNIA COAST