Wild Things

The Rare and Spooky Black Seadevil Anglerfish, on Video

Good luck sleeping tonight. The video above shows the extremely rare female black seadevil, a terrifying-looking anglerfish replete with a large mouth and rows of sharp teeth, famous for its use of a “luminescent orb” hanging from their heads to lure prey.

The deep-water beast (admittedly small, at around 4 inches long) was captured on camera by a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) submersible vehicle, apparently marking the first time that the anglerfish has been caught on video “alive and at depth.”

The MBARI scientists came across the anglerfish at a depth of around 2,000 feet, but the fish are known to live at depths up to four times that. Which, obviously, explains the irregularity of seadevil sightings. According to MBARI research division chairman Bruce Robison, this was only the third sighting of the species in the Monterey Canyon in the past 25 years.