Marine biologists have always known that some of the most ghoulish, haunting creatures on Earth live in the deepest parts of the sea. Remember that double-butt fish without a face? That was crazy, right? But a recent expedition uncovered perhaps an even ghastlier and little-known sight: a deep-sea lizard fish, right in the flesh —
A deep-sea research vessel from the Australian Marine National Facility stumbled upon a number of fascinating benthic specimens, one of which happened to be the lizard fish, National Geographic reports.
It looks a little like a pale eel with the face of a dinosaur, and we’re thanking all the powers above that it lives in the deep sea ...
Because stumbling upon this face on land would be surely, truly unpleasant.
The lizard fish gets its name, unsurprisingly, from its superficial resemblance to lizards. It has a dorsal fin in the middle of its back and a smaller fin closer to its tail. But want to know the real reason it's such a terrifying predator?
The lizard fish has a mouth teeming with sharp teeth on its upper jaw, its lower jaw and on its tongue.
Screenshot: YouTube/Marine Biodiversity Hub
That’s right: This fish literally has teeth on its tongue. Despite how unpleasant that sounds for the lizard fish, the thought is just as unpleasant for the average person who never asked to imagine what it would be like to have tiny, spiky teeth emerging from one’s tongue.
But then again, the lizard fish didn’t come here to make friends. It came here because it was collected as a specimen belonging to a deep-sea Australian research project whose apparent purpose is to discover the scariest creatures on the planet. And by that metric, they’re succeeding.
The lizard fish has another, erm, unique attribute. These guys are so lonely at the bottom of the ocean — if you think finding food is hard, imagine finding a mate — that each fish has developed both male and female organs.
This way, even if the lizard fish never encounters another of its kind, it can still create a newly horrific generation of its species to haunt the ocean floor, lonely and menacing, with bristles of teeth on their tongue and no love in sight.
So even when things seem bad, remember that terrestrial life is pretty much heaven compared to what else is out there.
You can watch National Geographic's full video on this bizarre find below.