Scientists find ‘faceless’ fish during deep sea expedition off Australian coast
A group of scientists stumbled upon a bizarre-looking creature over the weekend while exploring a massive abyss off the Australian coast — a large, “faceless fish.”
The brownish, scaly creature that lacked nostrils, a mouth and a face, looked unrecognizable.
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The group of 40 scientists from Museums Victoria and the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), discovered the underwater creature while traveling on a research vessel as part of a month-long journey.
They caught the fish nearly 13,000 feet below ocean level in the Jervis Bay Commonwealth Marine Reserve, where the water temperature was only slightly above freezing.
“Everyone was amazed,” one of the CSIRO scientists wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “We fishos thought we’d hit the jackpot, especially as we had no idea what is was.”
But after eel expert John Pogonoski, who also works for CSIRO, had a look at tissue samples and images of the fish, he came to discover that scientists hadn’t discovered a new species after all.
The team actually rediscovered a fish, dubbed the “Faceless Cusk,” that had not been seen on record for more than a century.
The “new” species is a cusk eel that goes by the scientific name, Typhlonus nasus, which translates to “blind hake” in Greek.
“So, it’s not a new species, but it’s still an incredibly exciting find, and we think ours is the largest one seen so far,” the scientist continued in the post.