Australian researchers have re-discovered a ‘faceless’ fish approximately four kilometres below the ocean surface.
The strange marine life has not been seen by humans for over a century, having last been recorded by the British HMS Challenger ship off the coast of Papua New Guinea back in the 1870’s.
The 40cm-long fish apparently has eyes way under the surface, but you cannot see them because of the way its features are arranged.
Dr Tim O’Hara told The Guardian: “This little fish looks amazing because the mouth is actually situated at the bottom of the animal.”
“So, when you look side-on, you can’t see any eyes, you can’t see any nose or gills or mouth.”
The discovery was made during an exploration of a deep-sea abyss by the ‘CSIRO Investigator’, a survey of Commonwealth marine reserves in the southern hemisphere from northern Tasmania to central Queensland.
On board the 27 scientists, 13 technicians and 20 crew have been using a system of towing nets fitted with underwater cameras to capture life below the surface.
And it isn’t only the faceless fish that has been thrown up so far, other finds have included red spiky rock crabs, bioluminescent sea stars and huge sea spiders.
Di Bray from Museums Victoria told ABC Australia: “On the video camera we saw a kind of chimaera that whizzed by – that’s very, very rare in Australian waters.
“We’ve seen a fish with photosensitive plates that sit on top of its head, tripod fish that sit up on their fins and face into the current.”
Bray added: “We’re collecting things we don’t know from Australian waters…we think a lot of them are going to be new.”