This Isn’t an Alien — It’s an Actual Venomous Deep-Sea Fish That’s Rarely Seen

It has a long, whip-like tail, a conical snout coming to a sharp point and a spine on its dorsal fin that is venomous.

It’s safe to say the fish reeled in by fishermen in Canada’s northernmost territory is strange.

long-nosed-chimaera_jutai korgak facebook cbc news
A long-nosed chimaera caught by a fisherman, baffling spectators until a researcher was later able to identify it. (Image source: Jutai Korgak/Facebook via CBC News)

It turns out the rarity caught recently in Davis Strait off the coast of Nunavut is a long-nosed chimaera, a member of the Rhinochimaeridae family.

Davis Strait
The fish was caught in the Davis Strait between the Canadian territory Nunavut and Greenland. (Image source: Wikimedia)

“Only one of these fish has previously been documented from the Hudson Strait,” Nigel Hussey with the University of Windsor and researcher for the Ocean Tracking Network told CBC News of the rare discovery. “Potentially, if we fish deeper, maybe between 1,000 and 2,000 metres, we could find that’s there’s actually quite a lot of them there. We just don’t know.”

As a relative to sharks and stingrays, the long-nosed chimaera is a cartilaginous fish, meaning it doesn’t have a boney skeleton and is considered by scientists to be a more primitive species.

Check out this footage to see a look at a long-nosed chimaera alive and swimming:

A news release about a new species in this fish family, discovered a few years ago, called them one of “the oldest and most enigmatic groups of fishes alive today.”

(H/T: Daily Mail)