This spooky deep-sea fish haunts the ocean floor off the coast of Rhode Island

December 27, 2018, 12:59 p.m.
A ehinochimera swims 10 meters above the seafloor in 2013
Photo: NOAA Ocean Explorer/Wikimedia Commons

There's a spooky white fish cruising the ocean depths that looks remarkably like the dog from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

This fish is a member of the Harriotta genus and belongs to the Rhinochimaeridae family. Members of this family are notable, as you might guess, for their long noses, which can be canonical or paddle-shaped. Their first dorsal fin is mildly poisonous, and it's likely a defense against would-be predators.

Members of this family have been found in waters around the world, but they mostly appear in the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The video above, shot in July 2013 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Okeanos Explorer, captures a Harriotta species swimming in the Hydrographer Canyon, located off the coast of Rhode Island.

Beyond that, however, we don't know a great deal about this creepy fish family. For instance, we don't know anything about their reproductive behaviors or biology. What we're left with are these impressive visuals and a ghostly ocean mystery.

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