A team of scientists currently aboard “The Investigator” discovered a faceless fish that was last spotted over a century ago. Besides this unusual fish, the researchers also detected various other incredible species living in the deep waters of Australia.
This new scientific expedition is being carried out by Museums Victoria and CSIRO scientist. Set to last a month, “The Investigator” sailed out of Launceston, Tasmania, on May 15 and headed north to the Coral Sea. The mission is scheduled to end on the 16th, this month.
As the scientific mission has been making its way along the eastern seaboard of Australia, it has also been surveying the deep oceanic life lurking some 2.5 miles deep. To do so, the research team relies on deep sea cameras, sonars, and nets.
A Faceless Fish, Bioluminescent Sea Stars, and Much More
These have helped detect a multitude of species, including blind sea spiders, bright red spiky rock crabs, and bioluminescent sea stars, among others. But one of the most interesting discoveries is a faceless fish. This was detected some 4,000 meters below sea level and is some 40-cm long.
The fact that this fish seems to have no eyes is not its biggest surprise. Dr. Tim O’Hara, the mission’s chief scientist and leader, went to explain.
“This little fish looks amazing because the mouth is actually situated at the bottom of the animal so when you look side-on you can’t see any eyes, you can’t see any nose or gills or mouth,” stated O’Hara.
As the researcher points out, the apparent lack of eyes can be explained by its living at great depths. Because of the poor or even total lack of light, such deep-living species have to produce their own light. Usually, this is achieved thanks to bioluminescence.
The faceless fish is only at its second detection. Reports show that its first sighting occurred over a century ago, in 1873. At the time, another pioneering British scientific expedition spotted it somewhere near Papua New Guinea.
The current mission team will continue collecting data and trying to find out more about the deep waters of Australia. According to their reports, most of the spotted creatures are new species.
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