Scientists aboard a deep sea research vessel exploring the waters off the coast of California could not believe their eyes when they spotted an incredibly rare and truly bizarre-looking fish that sports a transparent head. The remarkable encounter reportedly occurred earlier this month as a remote operated submarine deployed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was filming within an underwater canyon at a depth of around 2,000 feet. Suddenly, to their profound surprise, the research team caught sight of an odd shape in the distance and, as it got closer, realized that they were watching a very weird denizen of the deep.
The peculiar creature, known as a barreleye fish, possesses a transparent head that allows observers to see its glowing upturned eyes and a pair of olfactory organs that are positioned where its eyes 'should' be. The barreleye fish's unique appearance is a result of the animal having adapted to the incredibly dark depths of the ocean that it calls home. Seeing the jaw-dropping creature was cause for something of a celebration at MBARI as it was only the ninth encounter the team has had with the fish in over 5,000 dives which have produced a staggering 27,600 hours of video. In light of that, the eerie animal is something of a mystery to researchers, who marveled that the recent encounter was a once in a lifetime experience.