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Researchers capture incredible footage of rare fish with transparent head

Researchers capture incredible footage of rare fish with transparent head

You can see right into the head of this rare fish

Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have shared the moment they captured some incredible footage of a rare fish with a transparent head.

This amazing creature is called the Barreleye Fish, and it was spotted by aquarist Tommy Knowles and his team while onboard the research vessel Rachel Carlson, where they were collecting jellies and comb jellies for the California aquarium's 'Into the Deep' exhibition.

The team stopped to 'marvel' at the sight of the fish, with the research institute noting that despite logging more than 5,600 dives with remotely operated vehicles, they had only encountered this particular fish nine times.

It makes sense, having a transparent head where everyone can see inside your head would probably make you a bit self-conscious so just imagine how the poor fish feels.

According to the MBARI, which is located in California, the Barreleye lives in the ocean's 'twilight zone', which sounds pretty spooky.

You can see right inside the head of the rare fish.

It's the spot in the sea just beyond the reach of sunlight, making it a cold and dim place to be, but there are many wondrous denizens of the deep which lurk down where we can't easily see them.

The fish lives at depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) and though the majority of its body is opaque as you might expect, the head is entirely transparent.

This allows us to see everything that's going on inside the fish's head, though sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what you're looking at.

Two spots at the front of the fish’s face may be mistaken for eyes, EarthSky reports, but these are actually its olfactory organs through which it can smell things.

Its eyes are located just behind these spots and appear as green glowing orbs, which look upwards in order to allow the fish to spot any wayward prey it can swim up and munch on.

We'd say this fish had a face only a mother could love, but we can't see the face.

The Barreleye sounds like quite a thief, however, as when it comes time to catching and eating its favourite prey, the preferred dish of the day is apparently small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of other sea creatures.

The fish can also look places other than up at where it reckons the food will be, as it can rotate its eyes beneath the dome of transparent tissue.

They aren't the largest of fish, with most of them shorter than 20cm (7.9 inches) in length, and living in habitats ranging from the Bering Sea to Baja California to Japan.

Featured Image Credit: MBARI

Topics: Animals, Weird, Science