To paraphrase the great philosophes of our time: nature is lit. And nowhere is it more straight fire than when it comes to weird creatures mating. Like these anglerfish, for example, which are recorded here for the first time ever doing the ol' fishy squishy in a way that is both fascinating and what-the-fudge?! weird.
The clip, which was posted by Science magazine, was taken by filmmakers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen in a submersible, while the two were cruising around at a depth of about 800 meters below sea level near the Azores archipelago in Portugal. The couple told Science that they were about to resurface after a five-hour-long dive when they spotted the bizarre site of the anglerfish pair, which in this case belongs to the species Caulophryne jordani, or fanfin angler.
The anglerfish they doubtlessly saw first, the one that is relatively massive—although still apparently only the size of a fist—is the female. And we're seeing her there floating aimlessly, almost totally motionless, because food is scarce at these depths, and she has to conserve energy.
The smaller tube-like anglerfish is the male, and here we see him already bitten into the female so that he may provide her with sperm while she provides him with sustenance via her bloodstream.
Although the video was actually taken in 2016, this is the first time it's been released to the public, and thank Aquaman, because this is the kind of weirdness we need in our lives. Even the anglerfish's spiny appendages, which sprawl out in all directions from her body, are a bit of a scientific mystery. They've been known as tools for sensing nearby prey, but according to this video, they may also light up like the bulb (or esca) the angler fish hangs in front of its mouth to use as a trap. (It's noted their lighting up could also be a fluke of reflecting the submersible's lights.)
Looking forward, there are definitely a ton of questions that will need to be answered about anglerfish, some of which were raised by this video. But since it's extremely difficult to bring an anglerfish, or really any sea creature, to the ocean's surface from this depth due to temperature differences and the affects heat has on the fishes' bodies, we'll just have to wait for more videos of even more strange, horrifying deep-sea creatures...
What are your thoughts on this anglerfish mating? What super weird, mysterious creature would you like to see mate next? Let us know in the comments!
Images: Science magazine
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