The stuff of nightmares: First images captured of mysterious Black Seadevil

Warning: This creature might give you nightmares

By Joanna Rothkopf
Published November 24, 2014 3:15PM (EST)

On Nov. 17, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarian Research Institute captured what is thought to be the first video of the strangest sea creature I have ever seen: a rare anglerfish known as the Black Seadevil. The fish, which is only found at extreme depths, was spotted in the Monterey Canyon, at about 1,900 feet deep.

According to CNN, the fish was located by "Doc Ricketts," a remotely controlled robotic vehicle used to investigate the extreme depths of the ocean. Doc Ricketts was conducting a "midwater transect" when the anglerfish was spotted.

"This means we 'fly' the robot through the water at a series of different depths (10 minutes at each depth), and count all the different types of animals we see," explained MBARI's spokesperson, Kim Fulton-Bennett.

This particular fish is only 9 centimeters long, and has been named Melanocetus. The fish is known for its luminous fishing hook, which attracts smaller fish. Melanocetus will then inhale the food into its gaping mouth.

Watch the video of the bizarre creature below.

Joanna Rothkopf

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Anglerfish Black Seadevil Discovery Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Video