The horrific visage of the Stoplight Loosejaw (Malacosteus niger).

Sutton, T. (2005) Trophic ecology of the deep-sea fish Malacosteus niger (Pisces: Stomiidae): An enigmatic feeding ecology to facilitate a unique visual system? Deep-Sea Research I 52 2065–2076.

Kenaley, C. (2012) Exploring feeding behaviour in deep-sea dragonfishes (Teleostei: Stomiidae): jaw biomechanics and functional significance of a loosejaw. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106 224–240.

Species in the Rhinochimaera family are known as long-nosed chimaeras. Their unusually long snouts (compared to other chimaeras) have sensory nerves that allow the fish to find food. Also, their first dorsal fin contains a mildly venomous spine that is used defensively. They are found in deep, temperate and tropical waters between 200 to 2,000 m in depth, and can grow to be up to 140 cm (4.5 ft) in length.

Chimaeras (also known as ghost sharks and ratfish) are an order of cartilaginous fish most closely related to sharks, but they have been evolutionarily isolated from them for over 400 million years.

(Info from WP and .gif from video by NOAA's Okeanos Explorer—this is not an animation!)

So like…mermaids right? Mermaids. Right. Okay but what about…


Like within their own species, mermaids from more tropical waters, or even freshwater mermaids all know about fucking Deep Sea Mermaids, even though not many have actually seen them. And they’re scared as FUCK of them. Merpeople have tales about Deep Sea mermaids to scare their offspring into good behaviour.
Like they have huge fucking teeth like angler fish and eyes that are dark and can swallow your soul through simple eye contact. Their head is out of proportion with their body. Their skin in pale like chalk and stretched impossibly thin over a large rib cage and protruding spinal bones. Everything is sharp points, elbows, clavicle, cheekbones above the horrifying teeth…
What little hair they have, if any, is either pale white or black like the water and thin and wispy, like smoke. It’s barely there.
Their hipbones jut out from the top of their tails, looking the most like a pair of legs merely fused together like some fucked up experiement and ending in a fin of thin little hair-like wisps that glow faintly in the dark.
Last, like the angler fish, a small tear-drop shaped light embedded in their forehead to lure in their prey before they capture them in their strong jaws.

I want this so bad.