The Surprisingly Small Fierce-Looking Fangtooth Fish

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (previously) captured incredibly rare footage of a drifting fangtooth fish in the deepest seas. While these elusive creatures may appear to be quite fierce, they have poor eyesight and are surprisingly no bigger than an average human hand. The fangtooth use their unique camouflage and ferocious jaws to capture prey and avoid capture themselves, otherwise, they seem happy just to be left alone.

The fangtooth is found in meso- and bathy-pelagic waters worldwide. Dark skin and scales provide camouflage in these dim ocean depths, assisting them with catching prey (fish, shrimp, and squid) and avoiding hungry predators (tuna and marlin). Their prominent lateral line system detects water movement and compensates for poor eyesight and low light conditions. The fangtooth has been spotted just eight times in the past 30 years of MBARI ROV expeditions.