Researchers in Australia have unearthed a treasure trove of odd creatures from beneath the ocean, including a faceless fish that looks like it has two butts.
Yep, you read that right. Instead of a face with eyes and a mouth, there’s just an ugly, round blob of … well, nothing. That’s because the fish’s mouth is located on its underside and its eyes are apparently buried below the skin and not visible from the outside. The two bright red spots near its mouth are nostrils.
Informally called the two-butt fish or the faceless cusk, the strange creature isn’t a new discovery, but it’s incredibly rare.
The faceless fish, whose scientific name is Typhlonus nasus, hasn’t been spotted since 1873 when a British ship picked one up near Papua New Guinea.
But recently a team of scientists came across this specimen in an abyss more than 13,000 feet below sea level while surveying Australia’s Eastern Abyss for deep sea creatures. The odd-looking fish is just one of the bizarre animals they’ve come across below the ocean. Other fun finds include giant sea spiders, spiky rock crabs, and tripod fish that “prop themselves above the bottom on extended rays of their paired pelvic fins and tails.”
About a third of the creatures they’ve collected are previously undiscovered species, the lead researcher told the Guardian.
Deep-sea animals are known for their strange and sometimes terrifying appearance. But the ancient creatures that dwell even deeper in the abyssal zone are hardly recognizable to the ones we are used to seeing nearer to the surface.