Writing a blog like this, that often deals with animals as well as with oddities, believe me if I say that I’m quite an expert about strange creatures. Some of them have already been protagonist in this blog (look at the end of this post) many more will come pretty soon. However I think that the creature I’m going to talk about is a hands down winner in terms of queerness…
The grayish, barrel-like eyes are beneath the green domes, which may filter light. In this picture the eyes are pointing upward–the better to see prey above in the darkness of the barreleye’s deep-sea home. Watching live fish the scientists discovered that the eyes can pivot, like a birdwatcher pointing binoculars.
It’s a fish that has been known since 1939, but only recently it has been seen and photographed alive and with great surprise it appears to be completely different from what scientists thought from the mangled specimens found dragged to the surface by nets.
I’m speaking about
, known as Pacific Barreleye Fish. As you can see it shows a really qirky appearance. It has a head like a
cockpit: a soft transparent dome. this “dome” was never found in the dead specimens, probably due to its fragility, therefore the scientists imagined the fish without it like in the following drawing:
The barreleye lives more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) beneath the ocean’s surface, where the water is almost inky. MBARI scientists discovered the barreleye fish from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and obseved that it spends much of its time motionless, eyes upward, .
The green “balls” you could easily spot in the transparent dome are actually lenses atop each of the fish’s eyes and probably they filter out what little sunlight makes it down from the surface, allowing the fish to focus on the
of small jellies or other prey passing overhead.
Another discovery compared to the past knowledge is that the fish is able to rotate the eyes forward to follow the prey, allowing the fish to home in on its meal.
The beady bits on the front of the Pacific barreleye fish, instead aren’t eyes but smell organs.
So, to sum up in a totally unscientific way what it seems eyes are a nose, what it seems a sort of alien green brain are “sunglasses” end the true eyes are underneath at the bottom of a sort of barrel!
However the following video is better than a thousand words, to understand better the mysterious Barreleye Fish:
Some other posts about incredible and bizarre cretures: