Scientists aboard a deep-sea research vessel exploring the waters off the coast of California were stunned when they spotted a very rare and strange-looking fish that appears to have a transparent head.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research (MBARI) deployed a remote-operated submarine to the depth of 2,000 feet and can across something remarkable.
The research team caught something odd in the distance, but as it got closer, it was even more of a surprise to the team.
The research team found some form of a fish called a Macropinna microstoma, or Barreleye fish. The Barreleye has a see-through head.
The Barreleye fish lives in an area of the ocean called the twilight zone, between 2,000 and 2,600 feet deep. It’s called the twilight zone because it only receives very faint, filtered sunlight during the daytime, it’s a very dark place.
The Barreleye’s eyes point up towards the surface so they can see. They mostly feed on small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of siphonophores.
“How does the fish eat when its eyes point upward and its mouth points forward?” The Aquarium wrote. “MBARI researchers learned the fish can rotate their eyes beneath that dome of transparent tissue.”
Submarine film of the rare encounter: