Barreleye Lights Up the Deep - Oceana USA
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February 24, 2009

Barreleye Lights Up the Deep

Our Freaky Fish contest may be eight months off, but we have an early candidate with the unnerving Pacific barreleye fish, whose photo was taken in 2004 by scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) but released yesterday. I love how MBAQ’s Sea Notes blog describes the fish — “with a head like a fighter-plane cockpit.” The curiosity was discovered alive in the deep water off California’s central coast, and it’s the first of its kind to be found with its transparent “cockpit” intact.The craziest part? The dark beads on the front of the head aren’t eyes — they’re olfactory organs, like nostrils. The eyes are under those green domes, and they are pointing upward (I guess if you’re down that deep you better be able to look up) — though they can also pivot when necessary.Check out Deep Sea News for more details about the barreleye’s bizarre behavior.