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​Rare footage shows Black Seadevil, perhaps the deep sea's freakiest looking fish

On November 17, 2014, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) used a type of undersea robot called a remotely operated vehicle to videotape this rare deep-sea anglerfish in Monterey Canyon, about 580 meters (1,900 feet) below the ocean surface.

MBARI

Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., have produced what they believe to be the only video footage of the bizarre and scary looking anglerfish in its natural habitat 1,900 feet below the surface of the bay.

Also known, fittingly, as the Black Seadevil, the anglerfish is extremely elusive. It's only been caught on film -- still or video -- half a dozen times.

Camera shyness notwithstanding, there's no questioning the identity of this freaky fish, with the telltale protrusion extending from its head. The fish uses the bioluminescent lure at the end of the fishing pole appendage to attract prey in the dark waters of the two-mile-deep Monterey Canyon. As prey approaches, the anglerfish inhales it and traps it behind its teeth.

Only females boast the clever apparatus. This female specimen, terrifying as she is, measures in at just 9 cm long.

The video was captured by a remotely operated robotic vehicle launched from a research ship on Nov. 17.

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com