WWW: The Fish of the Damned
The last Weird Wildlife Wednesday: Halloween Edition animal for this year is appropriately the fish of the damned.
Also known as the hatchetfish, this deep-sea fish produces its own light through bioluminescence. The photophores along the body help disguise the fish from predators below with counterillumination, or the process of adjusting the light on their underbellies to camouflage themselves with the dim light from above instead of appearing as shadows against the faint light.
Like the barreleye fish, the hatchet fish has tubular eyes that point upward to facilitate the search for food. With a habitat at depths up to 1.5km, not many other things are known about this fish. Researchers are fairly certain that they live short lifespans of roughly one year and migrate to shallow water after dark to eat plankton and smaller fish.
As I found a few sources, mostly ones that included the image above, they all referred to the hatchet fish as the “fish of the damned” but I had trouble finding a reputable source to confirm this nickname. I add this note in the interest of full disclosure, though I will retain the possible pseudo-nickname in the title on the basis of the sheer creepiness of the photo.
Image source: Seavenger