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Three-starred anglerfish

Bathyceratias trilynchnus

The three-starred anglerfish, or (Bathyceratias trilynchnus) was one of Beebe’s most little known mystery fish. On August 11th, 1934, As Beebe and his colleague Otis Barton were in their bathysphere, 2,740 ft below the ocean off Bermuda, they briefly witnessed a strange anglerfish out their porthole, just clear enough to make out its detail. 

Resembling a species in the Ceratias genus, this anglerfish had a unique flat mouth and evenly-sized, fang-like teeth. It was about 15 cm long, with a black, oval-shaped body, small eyes and three tall illicia or “rods”, each with bright yellow photophores at the end. Beebe was particularly fascinated by this species, saying “No pioneer, peering at a Martian landscape, could ever have a greater thrill than did I at such an opportunity.”

An illustration of three-starred anglerfishes by Else Bostelmann
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