On the deck of a Russian vessel, somewhere in the Murmansk sea, a trawlerman named Roman Fedortsov labors like any other working stiff. Trawling is the process of dragging a cone shaped net through the water to catch all the tasty seafood we land lubbers like to eat. The downside to trawling is something called bycatch. Trawling nets grab anything in their path. For Fedortsov, the deep sea bycatch pulled onto the boat where he works has been a fodder for his social media accounts. Some bizarre creatures inhabit the deep seas. The standard operating procedure on trawling boats is to toss bycatch over the side, but Fedortsov documents these oddities before tossing them. Most of them he couldn’t identify if he wanted to because nobody’s ever named them before, not in an official capacity. Fedortsov is a social media deep sea pioneer of creepiness. What follows are 25 of his finds.
This one we know either as a grenadier or rattail fish, for the obvious rat tail hanging off its back end. The buggy eyes and pointy nose really make the macrourus look like an ocean fairing rodent. Also, like their land roaming namesake, one can find rattails almost anywhere in the depths of the ocean. Whether they carry disease like land rats remains to be seen.
24. Frilled Shark
Sometimes referred to as a living fossil, the features of the frilled shark are not otherworldly, they’re prehistoric. Most scientists only know this creature from the fossil records. Getting the opportunity to glance at one in the flesh is a rarity most marine biologists won’t enjoy. Look at those crazy rows of teeth; not somewhere one wants to put his hand.