Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Really Weird Fish

You can see inside its head! This fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact. The 6-inch barreleye had been known since 1939, but only from mangled specimens dragged to the surface by nets. As if its trippy head wasn't cool enough, its eyes can actually rotate within its "skull," so the transparency allows it to keep a literal eye on happenings above it, as well as to the sides and directly in front. These photos were just released a couple days ago, but were taken in 2004.

Here's a video of the barreleye, taken at a depth of about 800 meters by an unmanned, undersea robot called an ROV (remotely operated vehicle).

[Link: MBARIMidwaterResearch]

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