Return to the Deep

Remember Mr. Blobby, the lovable genus psychrolutes who graced this page back in March? While that entry has been pushed back deeper and deeper into the archives, people have continued to stumble upon it. Here’s a comment left by a recent visitor:

Dear Mark McGrouther,

I’m a huge fan of Mr.Blobby. Working for a Japanese documentary film making firm I am always on the look out for the wonderful, and thus very interested to see what else you turn up. Please do keep me updated with all your discoveries.

Fiona Dickson
Programme Development
NHK Enterprises
London, UK

Mark McGrouther manages the Fish Collection at the Australian Museum and was on the NORFANZ expedition that discovered Mr. Blobby in the Tasman Sea. Knowing he’d probably never come across that comment, I emailed him to let him know it was there. Since then he’s alerted me to a couple of additions to the collection.

The first is a new look at the fangtooth, a particularly nasty looking creature that thankfully only grows up to 17 cm. As mentioned in the original entry, this fish’s fangs are so long that it has evolved sheaths for them in its head to prevent it from impaling itself. Mark’s new photo shows these pockets in action and very close up.

The second is the Longray Spiderfish, a bottom dweller that lives down to 5000 m below the surface. Mark says to “check out the length of the pectoral fins.”

At this point you may be wondering why I’m suddenly posting about unusual fishes. Mainly I do it because I think they’re cool and it’s worth being reminded of the countless weird and wonderful creatures that surround us, so many yet to be discovered.

I also do it because this is what I love about the Internet. Just three days ago I posted about the supposed Balkanization of the World Wide Web, noting that there are very few sites outside the U. S. that I visit. Though that is true (and not necessarily a bad thing and certainly better than I do with non-Internet media), it’s amazing how communications technology has made such an unlikely thing as my recent email exchanges possible, even commonplace. What are the odds in any other generation that some guy in Virginia would find himself facilitating the introduction of an ichthyologist in Australia and a woman from a Japanese documentary firm working in London? Just about zero, I’d say.

So here’s your deep thought of the day: the Internet and the ocean are both full of some really neat stuff.

Thanks to Mark McGrouther for the updates.


1 thought on “Return to the Deep”

  1. Well, really, the internet is like 90% porn, but I suppose the point still holds up, since the ocean is about 90% water. That fangtooth fish is scary.

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