Deep in the water, things may become a little crazy. However, amid all of the seemingly exotic lifeforms we’ve discovered down there, the barreleye fish could be the oddest of them all: These really strange animals, found at depths where most light can’t reach, have a see-through head that allows their eyes to effectively see out the sunroof as they traverse the pitch-black seas.
You still do not trust us. Check out the video below from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), which shows a barreleye fish doing what it does best in spectacular resolution (for the fully immersive experience, we recommend popping on the X Files theme tune as you do).
It depicts a barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) traveling off the coast of California, captured with a remote-operated vehicle (ROV). Because barreleyes dwell at a depth of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet), such recordings necessitate the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). As part of an expedition related to the Rachel Carson research vessel, the ROV was on the lookout.
“Despite the fact that MBARI’s remotely controlled vehicles Ventana and Doc Ricketts have completed over 5,600 successful dives and recorded over 27,600 hours of footage, we’ve only seen this fish nine times!” According to the video description, when it comes to finding the barreleye’s eyes, the vision balls are not the two indentations you see in the standard eye location, but rather the glowy green balls that sit somewhat further back. The front-facing circles are olfactory organs that can detect chemical signals in the water.
MBARI claims that the odd location of the eyes is used to watch prey above which they would occasionally take off the dangling tentacles of siphonophores. They are extraordinarily well equipped for identifying the outlines of edible creatures against the small quantity of light that reaches such depths as ultra-sensitive tubular eyes. It is always assumed that the barreleye’s eyes are always fixed on the sky; however, it has subsequently discovered that they may roll forward to eat.
You can stare through the transparent shield your eyes sit in and essentially see through your own lips if you have a see-through head. When you have a mouth as tiny as the barreleye’s, this comes in handy. What do you think now that you have seen one in action and heard the facts? Barreleye fish: Extraterrestrial, fish or a submersible piloted the little brain alien from Men in Black.