WATCH: Scale-Less ‘Ghost Fish’ Spotted Alive for the First Time in Marianas Trench
Marine explorers aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel called the Okeanos Explorer came across a white, tadpole-like fish. The creature with undeveloped eyes, named Ghost Fish, has no scale, is transparent and gelatinous.Advertisement
The scientists researching the geography, biology and topography of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, north of Guam in the western Pacific, discovered the Ghost Fish alive for the first time about 8,200 feet underwater.
“I am sure that this is the first time a fish in this family has ever been seen alive,” Bruce Mundy, a fisheries biologist with NOAA, said in the Okeanos Explorer video. “This is really an unusual sighting.”
Mundy added that the discovery helped scientists realize that these eerie white creatures live near the bottom of the ocean, Fox News reported. The existence of the Ghost Fish was previously confirmed only by dead samples collected from the ocean floor by plucking them using very long trawls.
Scientists were equally shocked and thrilled with the discovery of the creature that belongs to the rare “Aphyonidae” family. Scientists also said that the Ghost Fish belongs to the same taxonomic order as cusk eels, which inhabit very deep in the water.
“Some of us working with fish have had wish lists, bucket lists, for what we might want to see,” Mundy, said in the video. “A fish in this family is probably first on those lists for a lot of us.”
The Newsweek reported that the inspection and mapping of the sea floor, which is a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is also an important part of their research. According to Bob Ballard, an oceanographer who was involved in the discovery of the Titanic’s wreckage, about half of the United States is underwater and most part of it still remains unexplored.