There are a whole pile of things that go on in the ocean that we don’t know about. Weird fish, strange behaviors, The Bloop, and with any luck, giant sea monsters. That’s why the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is running Windows to the Deep 2018, an undersea exploration mission that routinely documents some extraordinary stuff.
Most recently, they captured footage of an Atlantic Midshipman, a species that spends most of its time sitting in a hole, snatching a barracuda. “These fish are sit-and-wait ambush predators,” NOAA explains of the burrowing fish, “like anglers and lizardfishes, and have some of the fastest strikes of any fishes. So fast that it takes super slow motion video to actually see what is happening. The victim for this predator was a water column fish, a barracuda in the family Paralepididae, and it can be identified based on the big eye and long straight jaws with straight gape. It is interesting that this fish appeared damaged before being eaten – mucus coat frayed and a strip of skin dragging along the side of the body.”
The video was shot on the sixteenth dive of the expedition. On June 3oth, NOAA dove down to a range of 1,076 to 1,709 feet off Pea Island in North Carolina, and it’s an interesting look at what goes on way, way beneath the surface.