The anglerfish uses a shiny lure to bring prey within range of its sharp teeth. But it also has a weirdly clingy side – after finding a female, the male black devil angler latches on and never lets go!
It lives in total darkness at depths of up to a mile below sea level, in what has been referred to as “the midnight zone.”
Down here, don’t be afraid of the dark, be afraid of the light.
The light is a lure, wielded by our champion of the weird-the deep-sea anglerfish.
The lure is created by bioluminescent bacteria that live inside the angler. It drifts through the water, flashing its beacon. Waiting for something to take the bait.
This squid thinks it’s found an easy meal. A fatal mistake.
The squid was smaller than the angler, but had it been bigger, the anglerfish is prepared.
This far down, meals are few and far between.
So to make the most of every opportunity, this anglerfish has evolved a distending jaw and expandable stomach.
Want more weird? We have it.
This is a blackdevil angler. A female, to be precise.
She is after this fish. It’s not a meal, it’s her mate. This is the male blackdevil angler.
A specialized scent organ locks in on the ladies.
If it’s difficult to find food this deep, it’s even more difficult to find a girlfriend.
Deep-sea anglerfish solve the problem by having extremely clingy relationships and never letting go. Ever.
The male bites into her belly.
His body releases an enzyme. That dissolves the skin under the bite and fuses his mouth to her body.
Then the two become one. He will draw sustenance from her for the rest of his life.
In return, the female has a ready supply of sperm for whenever she is ready to mate.
Thank you, deep-sea anglerfish, for bringing so much weirdness into our lives.