New Deep-Sea Anglerfish is Something Out of Nightmares

First Posted: Aug 06, 2015 08:00 AM EDT

It's a horrifying discovery. Scientists have uncovered a new species of deep-sea anglerfish in the deep waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The never-before-seen species reveals that there is far more than meets the eye in the depths of our oceans.

"As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there's so much more we can learn about our oceans," said Tracey Sutton, one of the researchers, in a news release. "Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there's a good chance we'll see something we've never seen before-the life at these depths is really amazing."

The new species of fish was found at depths where there is no sunlight and where the pressure is immense-over one tone per square inch. In addition, food is scarce; that's why these fish developed their unique way of attracting prey by using a dimly-glowing "lure" to attract small fish.

"Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete," said Sutton. "Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home."

There are currently three female specimens of the newly discovered anglerfish. These specimens will be used to define the species and will reside in the world's largest deep-sea anglerfish collection at the University of Washington.

The findings reveal that when it comes to the deep ocean, we've only begun to discover all of the species therein. They also show the importance of better understanding these deep waters, which are connected to the rest of the circulating ocean.

The findings are published in the journal Copeia.

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