The Mysterious Black Sea Devil Finally Shows Its Face in This Video, and It’s Not Pretty

A robotic submersible discovers the mysterious fish deep off the California coast.
Nov 24, 2014·
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

Dory and Marlin may want to cover their eyes.

The fictional fish from Pixar’s 2003 film Finding Nemo have already had a close encounter with an anglerfish, but thanks to a new video from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, we can too.

Researchers spotted the mysterious species of anglerfish known as the “black sea devil” on Nov. 17 from a remotely operated submersible shooting video from the depths of Monterey Canyon, off the coast of California. The photos and video footage are the first-ever taken of the species in its natural habitat, according to the aquarium.

Nearly 2,000 feet below the surface, the black sea devil comes into view of the submersible, slowly swimming amid the darkness—its “fishing pole” lure can be seen illuminated above its head.

“Given the shape, it’s pretty clearly not designed for speed,” aquarium senior scientist Bruce Robison says in the video. “These are ambush predators, lurking in the darkness to grab an unwary meal.”

This specimen is only about nine centimeters long, but its rows of razor-sharp teeth make for a terrifying tiny fish. In the video, one of those teeth can be seen hanging outside its jaw on the left side of its mouth.

Scientists aren’t sure what knocked it out or if another tooth will grow in its place.

For the sake of Dory and Marlin, we hope not.