New images of a strange fish from the depths of the sea that sees the world from inside the forehead

Hundreds of meters below the surface of Monterey Bay in California, scientists have captured images of a fish with a clear bubble-like head and green spherical eyes that look around from behind its forehead.

Named the Macropinna microstoma, this strange creature is a species of glacial fish that has rarely been seen before. Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have only recorded images of this species nine times before. They have completed more than 5,600 diving missions with their remote-controlled instrument (ROV) in the fish habitat.

But last week, a team of MBARI scientists using a Ventana remote-controlled instrument spotted a glassfish in the bay. The images were taken when the ROV was moving at a depth of 650 meters in the Montreux Submarine Valley, one of the deepest valleys on the Pacific coast, according to Thomas Novellis, senior aquarium expert at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

“At first, the glassfish looked very small from a distance,” he says. But I immediately realized what I was looking at. “It can not be confused with anything else.”

A wave of joy filled the control room. Novells focused the ROV camera on the target, and the ROV guided nightbreak held the submarine in the direction of the eye-catching fish. “We all knew it might be a one-time experience in our lives, because this shy creature is rarely seen,” says Knowles.

In the light of a submarine robot, the eyes of this fish are bright green and can be easily distinguished from the transparent shield and full of liquid that covers the fish’s head. These eyes are very sensitive to light and can face upwards or upwards. To move. The two dark-colored capsules in front of the fish’s eyes contain the animal’s olfactory organs.

The osprey habitat ranges from the Bering Sea to Japan and Baja California in Mexico. This fish lives in the area of ​​the ocean (200 to 1000 meters below sea level) and specifically at a depth of 600 to 800 meters below sea level where the dark zone begins.

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Scientists do not have an accurate estimate of the number of these “jellyfish” in the ocean.

“MBARI senior scientist Bruce Robinson says:

Our knowledge of such a population is nothing more than speculation. Catfish are less common than other wolffish, such as lanterns and anglers, and are very rare to encounter, as are fish hooks, salmonids, and pelicans.

According to MBARI researchers’ findings published in the 2008 issue of the journal Copeia, scientists think that glassfish are usually immobile and wait for easy prey such as animal plankton and mermaids to pass over their heads. This ability is made possible by the large fins that extend around their bodies. By pointing its eyes upwards, the glassfish can detect the shadow of its prey, and its green eye pigments are likely to block sunlight from the ocean.

Glass's fish eyes

When a spotted fish detects a luminous mermaid or a crustacean, it moves upward to trap the prey in its mouth. At the same time, his eyes turn forward to see the direction of his movement. Scientists think the glassfish may sometimes steal the food of carnivores (a cluster of mermaid-like animals that form large lines next to each other and hunt with their tentacles), as seen in a 2009 video. The transparent head of this globular fish may protect it from bites on the tentacles of carnivores.

“Most aspects of the life history of these creatures are unknown, and what we think we know about them is based on speculation,” says Robinson.

Glassfish were first seen in 1939 among fishermen. But their clear heads were destroyed on the tour, and it was hidden from them until the 2000s, when MBARI scientists did not see any of them in their habitat.

In the new MBARI mission, the team of scientists eagerly tracked and observed glassfish as far away as they could, and then pursued their search for deep-sea mermaids and combs.

Glass head swimming fish

“We do not intend to collect this animal because our aquarium is not prepared to take care of this unknown fish,” says Knowles.

According to the collection’s website, in the spring of 2022, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will hold a new exhibition entitled “Towards the Deep: Discovering Our Unknown Ocean,” which includes a variety of deep-water species from large socks and sea spiders to blood-shoulder combs. Many of these creatures seem to have been pulled out of science fiction.

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