Fish and skip! Moment diver encounters bizarre hairy creatures that WALK the sea floor
- Susan Gardner, 64, filmed the bizarre creatures in Lake Worth Lagoon, Florida
- The fish she saw are called hairy anglerfish, one of the “most fascinating” breeds
- Species gets its name from its layer of irregularly arranged spines
This is the breathtaking moment when a diver sees two hairy fish meandering across the sea bed.
Susan Gardner, 64, filmed the bizarre creatures on an early morning dive in Lake Worth Lagoon near Palm Beach, Florida.
Her images show a pair of unusual fish, covered in hair-like tentacles, apparently walking on two legs across the sand.
What she’d come across were furry anglerfish, a species that has been called “one of the strangest and most fascinating fish in the ocean.”
It takes its name from its layer of irregularly arranged spines, which resemble hair and allow the predator to mix with coral and seaweed, allowing it to ambush unsuspecting prey.
Their ‘legs’ are actually modified pectoral fins that allow them to walk across the ocean floor in search of prey.
It’s sheer luck that Ms. Gardner, a retired pharmacist, noticed them at all.
“I saw movement in my peripheral vision and went to investigate,” she said.
‘I got close to them and realized that these striped anglerfish were ending up in the shallows. We are lucky that they breed here every year. ‘
Footage shows a group of brown fish with tufts of ‘hair’ that appear to meander across the bottom of the ocean
Susan Gardner, 64, filmed the bizarre creatures on an early morning dive in Lake Worth Lagoon near Palm Beach, Florida
She continued, “As I got closer, I noticed that the leader was very pregnant.
‘These fish are bottom dwellers. They are poor swimmers and usually move by walking on modified fins that resemble legs.
The pregnant woman had a big belly so big that her back legs didn’t touch the sand, so she moved her front legs and wagged her tail to move forward.
They also swayed back and forth with the water movement. It helps to make them look like they are part of the bottom algae.
The growth that resembles her also helps to disguise them. They are ambush predators, so they sit still as if they were part of the bottom. ‘
Not only do the fish lurk for their victims, they also have a bait-like appendage that they can dangle from their mouths to attract potential prey.
And if another fish eats the bait, the angler fish can just regenerate a new one.
“They strike amazingly fast,” said Mrs. Gardner.
And they can swallow fish larger than themselves. It’s impressive! ‘
What she had encountered were hairy anglerfish, a species that has been called ‘one of the strangest and most fascinating fish in the ocean’
It’s also rare to see them, says Susan, so even after more than 5,000 recorded dives, she’s lucky enough to come across a pair.
She said, ‘I like angler fishing. They are hard to find which is why I appreciate them more when I see one. ‘
According to ScubaDiving.com, angler fish are “some of the strangest and most fascinating fish in the ocean” and “some of the hardest to find.”
When the anglerfish attacks, the website says, its mouth can expand at such a rapid rate to 12 times its normal size that it creates a vortex and sucks the prey into its mouth.
They also have the chameleon-like ability to adapt their colors to their environment, but it takes them weeks to transform themselves in this way.