Researchers with the Monterey Ray Bay Aquarium Research Institute acquired footage of the rare Melanocetus fish, more affectionately known as “the Black Seadevil”. These creepy critters are rarely seen in their natural deep-sea habitat. Scientists who captured the wonderful new footage of the Black Seadevil told reporters that the first thing they thought when the spotted the unusual species was “Aaaaagggghhhhh!!!!”
As you can see, the Black Seadevil is very, ah, different looking. The shining spot at the end of the “fishing pole” that protrudes from the fish’s head is a glowing lure. The anglerfish uses the light to attract prey in its deep, dark habitat.
The pictures of the Black Seadevil were taken from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 1,900 feet. This specimen of Melanocetus is about 3 ½ inches long and was captured by the ROV and brought to the surface for further study. It now lives in a large, dark, air-conditioned tank.
Encounters with deep-sea anglerfish are exceedingly rare and very little is known about them. It is believed that fewer than ½ dozen have ever been recorded by deep-diving research vehicles. This one was photographed off the coast of central California.