Black Sea Devil: rare and strange

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) captured the first-ever images of a female anglerfish, also known as Black Sea Devil.

Scientists spotted the deep-sea predator 2,000 feet (610 meters) below the surface in the dark waters of Monterey Bay, in California. The anglerfish, named Melanocetus, is nine centimeters (3.5 inches) long.

The MBARI remotely operated underwater vehicle led by Bruce Robison came across the Black Sea Devil on the 17th November. The specimen is rare and usually found in tropical to temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think it's beautiful. It's perfectly adapted to the habitat that it lives in and the kind of life it leads," explains Robinson, researcher at MBARI.

"What we're trying to do experimentally with instruments that we take down into the ocean is to learn what the range of capabilities of these animals are. Now that the temperature is rising, many species may not have the ability to adjust to the rising temperatures."

Fewer than half a dozen Black Sea Devils have ever been captured on film by deep-diving research vehicles. This is the first video footage ever made of an anglerfish alive and at depth.