There are plenty of strange creatures in the deeper parts of the world’s waters, but few are as sinister looking as this one. Photographs of this bizarre-looking deep sea critter were posted online by reddit user wolfboyx last month, who claimed to have found the fish while researching sperm whales in an undisclosed location. Experts have subsequently identified it as a black dragonfish.

Greatly resembling a cross between the chestbursters of the Alien universe and perennial Spider-Man villain Venom, the black dragonfish resides 5,000 to 7,000 feet below the surface. The fish is characterized by its wicked-looking teeth and bioluminescent photophores along its body, which light up when disturbed. Thankfully, the largest these underwater terrors can grow up to is about 15 inches in length, so it’s not likely to be much of a threat.

Because they live so deep underwater, very little is known about the dragonfish. Anglers and swimmers do occasionally see the creature in its larval stage, although they rarely recognize the tiny wriggling fish. When dragonfish give birth their eggs will float towards the surface. The larvae eventually return to the ocean depths once it matures.

Image from Imgur

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  • Jim Nasium

    So I’m assuming this fish died as a result of the decrease in pressure from leaving one atmosphere at 5,000′, to the surface? Bummer. I’m all for fishing and I know sometimes “stuff” happens when a rare species is caught and dies as a result. But, the article says that the people were “researching” sperm whales? Seriously, WTF? Does this mean they were “fishing” for whales??? In the Japanese whaling industry, their fishing boats say “R E S E A R C H” on the sides of the hull. How does one “research whales and by accident catch a small 15” fish, according to the article? Are they researching with hooks, nets or what???? Hmmmmm. Sounds “fishy” to me.

    • JayZzzz

      I concur. It’s like saying you’re going to do Elk research and study their feeding-habits, but you need your .300 WinMag to do that “research.”

  • I would have gone with a Venom comparison.