Yikes! Scary-looking new species of anglerfish discovered in deep ocean

Not exactly a handsome creature. Image Theodore Pietsch / University of Washington via NBC

There might be plenty of beautiful creatures in the ocean, but this newly discovered anglerfish is not one of them.

Found between 3,280 and nearly 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, it belongs to the genus Lasiognathus, and hunts using the glowing appendage on top of its head to attract prey.

It was discovered by Nova Southeastern University researcher Tracey Sutton and Theodore Pietsch from the University of Washington. Their research was published earlier this week in the journal Copeia.

“As a researcher, the one thing I know is that there’s so much more we can learn about our oceans,” Sutton said. “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.”

The researchers found three female specimens ranging from 1.2 to 3.7 inches long.

Like other anglerfish, this newly discovered species, which has yet to be officially named, lives in total darkness. It relies on bioluminescence to attract other fish.

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