In the depths of the abyss off the Australian Eastern Coast, scientists rediscovered the “Faceless” cusk that has been absent from sight over a century.
Scientists from the Museums Victoria and the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who are traveling on a research vessel, found the fish in the Jervis Bay Commonwealth Marine reserve.
13 thousand feet below the surface, the “faceless” fish was caught in water just above freezing levels. The fish was 40cm long and is the first time to be seen in the waters of Australia since 1873. The first time it was found was off the coast of Papua New Guinea in 1873.
According to Dr. Tim O’hara, the chief scientist and expedition leader, the mouth of the fish is located at the bottom so the eyes can’t be seen. The nose, gills, or mouth can’t be seen when looked at which makes it appear as if it is a fish with two rears.
Samples of the fish along with images and samples of the were sent to experts who studied the abyss particularly other fishes within the depths. The scientists had thought they had probably found a new species, however, John Pogonski, an eel expert who is working for CSIRO’s Australian National Fish Collection, said the fish isn’t a new species.
After examining the fish on the vessel, Pogonoski found the fish to be a cusk eel known scientifically as Typhlonus nasus. It is not a new species but it is the first to be spotted after a century and the longest one to be seen. The fish had previously been known to inhabit the Arabian Sea, Indonesia, Japan and Hawaii in the past.
The “faceless” cusk isn’t the only find the scientists from CSIRO found, they have caught red spiky crabs, sea spiders, even bioluminescent sea stars. But the most extraordinary find has been the “faceless” cusk. The scientists hope to obtain data that will help know more about the biodiversity of the depths and to measure the impacts of climate change.