Scientists have obtained footage of a fish with a bulbous, translucent head and green orb-like eyes peering out through its forehead thousands of feet beneath the surface of Monterey Bay off the coast of California.
According to Daily Mail and Live Science, the barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) is a strange organism that is rarely seen. Despite sending their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) on more than 5,600 dives in the fish’s habitat, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have only sighted the species nine times, MBARI tweeted on Dec. 9.
According to the video’s description ‘MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles Ventana and Doc Ricketts have logged more than 5,600 successful dives and recorded more than 27,600 hours of video—yet we’ve only encountered this fish nine times,’.
The elusive fish’s eyes are two brilliant green orbs behind its face that glance up towards the top of its head, rather than two little indentations where they would typically be.
Its eyes are positioned in that way to allow the creature to search the waters above it for food, as it lives so deep that food is scarce, as well as to rotate its eyeballs forward.
The barreleye fish was discovered last week in Monterey Bay off the coast of California during an expedition led by Rachel Carson, but it was first documented in 1939, according to CNET.
While the majority of its body is dark, the top half of its head is transparent, and its eyes can be seen plainly. According to evolutionary biologists, the fish’s acute sense of sight evolved as a result of the harsh environment in which it lives, where no sunlight reaches.
Tubular eyes, which are common among deep-sea organisms and consist of a multi-layer retina and a large lens, allow them to detect the greatest amount of light in one direction. The eyes, on the other hand, were thought to be fixed in position, providing only a ‘tunnel-vision’ view of whatever was directly above the fish’s head until 2019.