The black seadevil may look like the stuff of nightmares, but capturing video of this rarely seen fish is a dream come true for scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
The black seadevil, a species of angler fish, has never been filmed in the wild until last week.
Researchers spotted the female fish in Monterey Bay last week, about 2,000 feet below the surface.
"We've been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we've seen three," Bruce Robison, research division chairman of the aquarium's research institute, told the San Jose Mercury News.
The black seadevil gets its name from its frightening appearance. Female black seadevils are larger than males and possess a gaping mouth and a luminescent orb that dangles from the forehead to attract prey.
Male black seadevils have shorter lifespans and only one purpose: to find a mate. If they don't, they drown.
Males bite the females, and their tissues and blood fuse with the females, allowing males to live as parasites and receive food, oxygen and necessary hormones.
Not much else is known about black seadevils, but Robinson and his team are studying how much oxygen these deep-sea creatures need to survive.
As global warming causes ocean temperatures to rise, the amount of oxygen in the water decreases.
Anglerfish like the black seadevil live at depths where the oxygen is already lower.
Marine life that live in shallower ocean waters are already being affected by warming waters and heightened levels of carbon dioxide.
Learn more about the black seadevil in the video above.
Related on MNN: