Just when we thought deep-sea creatures couldn't get any stranger, they come up with this weirdo.
Scientists from Nova Southeastern University in Florida discovered a new species of anglerfish — named Lasiognathus regan. This critter, from the northern Gulf of Mexico, has an oddly bent up appendage sticking out of its head and whisker-like teeth spikes jutting out from the top of its snout.
Three female specimens of the fish were discovered more than 3,200 feet deep beneath the gulf's surface, and they ranged from one to three inches long. They will reside at the University of Washington, home to the world's largest deep-sea anglerfish collection.
"As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there's so much more we can learn about our oceans," said Tracey Sutton, an oceanographer at NSU . "Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there's a good chance we'll see something we've never seen before — the life at these depths is really amazing."
Like the preceding anglerfish coming out of the deep, this creepy looking animal uses the same type of bioluminescence at the tip of its angler, used to attract its prey in an environment where no sunlight exists and where the pressure stands at more than 2,200 pounds per square inch.
Because of the extreme conditions of the deep sea, humans have explored less than 2 percent of the ocean floor. As a result, new species are constantly popping up whenever we go down there.
It's home (so far) to an immense range of nightmarish — albeit mostly slow-moving — monsters, including colossal squids, mysterious mushrooms, vampire squids, gulper eels and the toothy dragonfish. And who can forget the incredible Barreleye fish, who has upward facing eyes at the top of their head, encased in a transparent dome?
"Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete," Sutton said.