It hasn’t seen or been seen in a long, long time. Last week the “faceless fish”, uh, showed its face in Australian waters for the first time in over 100 years. It has long been thought to be extinct.
Australian scientists discovered the faceless creature about 13,000 feet below the surface during an expedition off Australia’s east coast. At first, scientists didn’t recognize the little guy. They thought it was a new species and were about to report it as such when the cook stumbled from the galley to see what all the commotion was about and with a disgusted look on his face, proclaimed, “Dang, I haven’t seen one of those in a long time.”
The faceless fish, more accurately termed Typhlonus nasus or “faceless cusk”, does have eyes but they are embedded deep underneath the skin. Its mouth is located under its body. One scientist explained:
“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. It looks like two butts on a fish, really.”
[Editor note: Reeko says the mouth/butt thing is disgusting and under no circumstances are we to mention the rumors regarding the cusk’s compulsive teeth brushing habit.]
The faceless cusk is believed to hail from the Arabian Sea, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, to Hawaii. Records show a faceless cusk was collected by the historic HMS Challenger on August 25, 1874 at a depth of nearly 3 miles in the Coral Sea. Decades later, reports indicate a faceless cusk specimen was collected off East Kalimantan, Borneo.
Reporters at the scene of the astounding discovery say they are a bit disappointed by the faceless cusk’s reaction to his newfound notoriety. One reporter complained when he asked for a comment, he was met with little more than a blank stare.