The video of a ghastly-looking female anglerfish has appeared online. This is just the third time researchers have filmed a live anglerfish in the deep ocean.
Seen in the 25-minute-long video, taken at about 2,600 feet underwater, is an eerie-looking creature floating in the inky-black waters about 850 miles west of Portugal.
The sight of the bizarre glowing fish was captured by German researchers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen who filmed this extraordinary scene using a deep-sea submersible off the coast of Sao Jorge Island in the Azores.
Famous for its bioluminescent fishing apparatus poking out from its head to attract prey, the anglerfish normally lives about 980 feet to 16,400 feet deep in the dark zone of the ocean where sunrays never penetrate.
Female anglerfish can grow to be about 60 times larger and half-a-million times heavier than male anglerfish.
Its mating habits are equally bizarre. When catching sight of a female, the male anglerfish bites onto her body, allowing their tissues and circulatory systems to fuse.
He gives her sperm, and she provides him with enough nutrients to keep them going for the rest of their lives.
Scientists explain the anglerfish’s ghostly glow as bioluminescence resulting from chemical reactions going on inside its body.
They believe that although the anglerfish’s light could be a means of attracting prey, it could also serve to make it look bigger to scare off potential enemies, or help it look like a jellyfish with stinging tentacles.
There are about 160 known anglerfish species in all of the world’s oceans, but sightings of them are extremely rare.