Pic o’ the week – unidentified deep sea fish

This curious creature, seen in Indonesian waters in the Sangihe Talaud Region, has not yet
been definitively identified by scientists.

The Little Hercules ROV captured this image of what scientists think is an anglerfish during dives from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in Indonesia. Scientists are working to further identify this creature and many others they encountered this summer during the INDEX 2010 Exploration – a joint expedition between American and Indonesian researchers.

As expedition coordinator Jeremy Potter wrote,

“We expect to make discoveries that will advance our understanding of undersea ecosystems, particularly those associated with submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal vents. The geographical area of operation is located entirely within the ‘Coral Triangle Region’, the global heart of shallow-water marine biodiversity. This will also be the first time scientists use a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to get even a glimpse of deepwater biodiversity in the waters of the Sangihe Talaud Region.”

The folks at NOAA also sent us this close-up photo, which shows this expedition’s remarkable photography capabilities:

Images courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010

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