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Abyssal rainbow gar

American naturalist William Beebe (1877/1962), was one of the most revolutionary figures in marine biology, as he, and the inventor of the bathysphere, Otis Barton, became the first humans to ever witness the deep sea and observe its wildlife during various dives in the ’30s. A vast majority of the species he witnessed have been scientifically described, but five of which remain unknown, one being the abyssal rainbow gar, and the only one to which he didn’t give a Latin name. 

As he was off Nonsuch Island in Bermuda, about 2500 ft below the surface he, and his colleague Otis, turned on the bathysphere’s light and witnessed what he called “A strange quartet of fish”, all floating motionless in a row, only moving their fins to keep their upright position. They were only about 10 cm long, with stiff bodies, long, sharply pointed jaws and had surprisingly colourful, patterned scales. Their head was a scarlet colour, which abruptly changed to a sky blue past the gills and then transitioned to a more yellowish colour on its tail. These creatures were never seen again.

An illustration of Abyssal rainbow gar by Else Bostelmann
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