Gulper Eel Caught On Camera

Elusive Transforming Eel Caught On Camera And It Is Incredibly Surreal

Here’s another find by the scientists over at E/V Nautilus. You may remember these perpetually-excited researchers from their discovery of the “googly-eyed stubby squid” we saw a couple of years ago. This time, there is nothing cute about their discovery, though. In fact, I would say this discover as ‘bizarre’. I’d say it is at the same level of bizarre as the starfish found washed ashore in southern Vietnam, but it is a whole lot less creepy.

Anyways, while these scientists obviously know that they will sometime stumble upon weird sea creatures, but when they saw this creature, they just couldn’t contain their excitement. Man, I am beginning to have a liking for this bunch of researchers. They have in them so much passion for marine exploration. Anyways, while exploring Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine conservation in Honolulu County, Hawaii/Midway Atoll, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, a mysterious Black Sea creature had their full attention.

From a far, it looks like an overgrown tadpole (at least to me it looked like a frog’s offspring, but in giant proportion). Obviously it is not. The sighting had the scientists speculating what it was. It started as a black blob with a tail, but minutes latter, the animal began to transform, shaking the body as if a punctured balloon deflating rapidly. But before it was done with the ‘deflating’, it made sure it shows the intruder (the scientists’ exploration sub) who’s the boss here by opening its incredibly massive jaws – in a like ‘don’t come antagonizing me!’ manner.

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After that, what used to be a big black blob collapses into a streamlined, slender body of an eel. When it did that, scientists immediately recognized it as the gulper eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides). The gulper eel is so called because it has a pouch-like mouth that can inflate in an instant, allowing it to scoop up larger prey. The particular gulper eel caught on camera was likely a juvenile, as gulper eel is known to grow up to three feet (nearly a meter) in length.

Well, this is just about the coolest sea creature we have seen thus far. Its ability to transform from a long, skinny form into one several times of its original size is pretty darn surreal and reminder of how amazing (and sometime creepy) marine creatures can be. It is also a reminder to everyday people like you and me that there are still a lot we have learn about what’s lurking in the vast oceans on this little blue marble we live on. We suggest you have a look at the video. Trust me, it will be a minute and fifty three seconds of your life well spent.

Images: YouTube.

Source: All That Is Interesting.