Bizarre New Anglerfish Species Found in Deep Sea

anglerfish
Researchers found three specimens of this new species of anglerfish, Lasiognathus regan, at depths between 3,200 and 4,900 feet in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of Theodore Pietsch, University of Washington

It seems like every time scientists look for new life in the deep sea, they strike gold. In this installment of "what the heck is that?" allow us to introduce a newfound species of anglerfish, dubbed Lasiognathus regan.

Anglerfish all have unique appendages extending from their heads that are used to lure prey. This new species has a particularly funky, fishing pole–like barbel on its noggin that also produces light.

Researchers from Nova Southeastern University found three specimens of this fish at depths between 3,200 and 4,900 feet in the northern Gulf of Mexico. They ranged in length from 1 inch to 4 inches, and are described fully in a paper published in the journal Copeia.

"Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete," says study co-author Tracey Sutton, a marine ecologist. "Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home."

Bizarre New Anglerfish Species Found in Deep Sea | Tech & Science