SORRY, CAN’T PLACE THE FACE
A RARE, and rather unpretty, faceless fish has been rediscovered after almost 150 years by scientists during deep-sea research in Australia’s mysterious eastern abyss.
The “faceless fish” was retrieved from the crushing and almost pitchblack depth of four kilometres beneath the ocean surface during the first-ever detailed exploration of the abyss by an international team aboard the CSIRO research vessel Investigator.
When it was brought up in Jervis Bay and landed on the Investigator’s deck, scientists were initially baffled by the gelatinous creature before confirming its first and only other discovery was in 1874 during the voyage of the HMS Challenger, the first round-the-world oceanographic expedition.
Formally labelled the faceless cusk, the creature has no visible eyes — a redundant feature at such depth and darkness — and a mouth on the underside of its head.
The creature, to be displayed for the first time at Melbourne Museum from today, forms part of a collection of some 5000 species retrieved during the abyss expedition, with dozens believed to be previously unknown varieties of marine and biological organisms.
The faceless fish is a rare find. Picture: MARK STEWART