Pale eel-like fish spotted alive in deep sea waters for the first time

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 6, 2016, 4:07pm CDT
Pale eel-like fish spotted alive in deep sea waters for the first time

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a video showing a living, pale, “ghostly” fish; this is the first time the creature has been found alive, marking a new milestone discovery for the agency. The fish was found by the NOAA Okeanos Explorer team during the agency’s 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Mariana. NOAA recently shared a clear high-resolution video of the fish.

The NOAA team found the fish while exploring a ridge located 2500 meters below the ocean’s surface. Though it is indeed a fish, it doesn’t look quite like the ones you’ll pull out of the local lake — it is distinctly eel-like, measuring about 10 centimeters long and falling within the same Ophidiiformes order as cusk eels.

Unlike those eels, though, this ghostly fish belongs to the Aphyonidae family; the one shown in the video above has the distinct honor of being the first of its kind seen (alive) by human eyes. In addition to resembling an eel, this fish does not have any scales, and NOAA describes its skin as being “gelatinous.” Its eyes do not have pigment and are described as being “reduced,” likely due to the depth at which it lives.

Much like the universe around us, the deepest parts of our oceans largely remain a mystery. NOAA has tasked itself with exploring the most unknown parts of the oceans, in this case focusing on the Marianas Trench and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

VIA: The Weather Network


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