Very fortunate to get the call to go drift with friends through the ocean in about 2,000 feet of water. The “during the day” version of blackwater diving was a huge success! Tons of palegic drifters, a layer of jellyfish soup and some very sizeable salp chains and sea butterflies.
Although, I can only claim “allegedly” as I failed to get any images…. paper nautilus!
And more firsts; my first molas on a kelp paddy!
The highlight was this larval ragfish (Icosteus aenigmaticus) drifting alongside a small jelly. A deep sea fish found in the epipelagic, mesopelagic and upper bathypelagic zone at depths of up to 1420m. Although first described in the 1880s, there is little known about the life history of this species outside of their external morphology. Adults apparently can to 100kg, and at one point in time they were called ‘bastard halibut’ by whalers so there’s that. If you happen to have the time and interest, this is the most in-depth piece of info I could find on the species.
This is almost without a doubt the least photographed fish that I’ve ever seen. From 1880-200, there were just 166 recorded specimens. This could very well be one of the first in situ photos of the entire species at a larval stage!? There are a few images online of juveniles, so I’m certainly not the first overall, but sightings could be certainly be in the single digits…
Anyways - a fun day!!
How I first saw the larval fish.
And a large assortment of other floating life.