Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Gulper Eel | World’s Weirdest Animals


Deep in the atlantic ocean is a sea creature
that is a thing of nightmares. On this episode of world’s weirdest animals we bring you
the gulper eel. Living at extreme depths in the north atlantic,
this deep sea fish is one not seen normally by human eyes. A rare fisherman’s catch
the gulper eel, pelican gulper, umbrella mouth gulper or pelican eel as it’s also called
has a loosely hinged mouth that can open up wide to capture fish much larger than the
gulper eel themselves. The lower jaw is hinged at the base of the head with no body mass
behind it which makes the head look disproportionately large. This large pelican mouth will capture
not only the intended prey but also water which is expelled through their gills. Being
a rare creatures to film in the wild, this footage comes from the personal channel of
one the producers of BBC’s Blue Planet series which you can see more of his channel linked
in the description below or on the end screen at the end of the video. Measuring 2.5 feet or 0.75 meters long they
are typically a solid black creature, some gulper eels have a thin lateral white stripe.
Only resembling eels with their appearance the gulper eel is actually a ray finned fish.
They don’t have scales, swim bladder or pelvic fins and feature v shaped muscle segments
while other fish have w shaped muscle segments. Living in deep ocean waters usually creatures
have extra large eyes but not the gulper eel. Their tiny eyes are believed to only pick
up trace amounts of light vs formed images. An iconic feature of this deep sea creature
is their long tail. Bearing a complex organ with numerous tentacles which glows pink and
will occasionally pulse a bright red color, this is believed to lure in their prey. Most
of what we know about these creatures comes from those caught by accident by fisherman.
Many of these specimens have had their tails tied in knots or multiple knots. Sustaining themselves on a diet of small crustaceans,
squid and other small invertebrates, the gulper eel’s large mouth isn’t used to catch
large fish. It is believed because of their tiny teeth they use their large mouth, which
is about ¼ the length of their entire body, as a net for clustered groups like a school
of shrimp. There isn’t a lot of threat to the gulper eel at the depths they live except
their main predator, the lancetfish. This ugly fish looks like the dragon king of the
ocean which are about twice as long and big as the gulper eel. Not much is known about how the gulper reproduces,
researchers believe females release pheromones to attract the males. Shortly after reproduction
the gulper eel will perish. With 85% of the ocean floor still unmapped do you think we’ll
find more amazing creatures like the gulper eel at the bottom? Share your thoughts down
below. For more amazing footage of the gulper eel head over to the Indoona channel to see
their full video. Consider subscribing and until the next one have a good one.

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