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A creature described as "a rarely seen horror" by National Geographic is among the finds made by NOAA explorers scouring the ocean floor off the southeastern United States, including both Carolinas.
Photos from the 17 dives have been posted online, and they reveal a rogue's gallery of sea creatures spotted May 22 through July 2.
Cases - Experts - Explorer - Ship - Okeanos
In some cases, experts aboard the explorer ship Okeanos admitted what they were viewing remotely was "unidentified," such as the octopus-type plant found growing off Currituck or the "potential" hydriod that resembled a pink cauliflower with multiple legs.
In other instances, biologists stumbled on known but uncommon sights like the deepsea lizard fish, which resembles its name in the worst possible sense. One was seen 5,810 feet down off Currituck on July 1, looking fluorescent in the camera's light.
National - Geographic - Horror - Maw - Teeth
National Geographic describes the lizardfish as a "horror" that has a "maw of sharp teeth and haunting black eyes." Its scientific name is the dinosaur-sounding bathysaurus.
"They can grow more than two feet in length," reported National Geographic, "and have both male and female organs, which enables them to mate with any member of their species."
NOAA - Predator - Action - Moment - Sand
NOAA also captured at least one "ambush predator" in action, filming the moment it bolted out of the sand, snatched "a large midwater fish," then vanished below the surface.
The dives set out to explore and map plateaus, escarpments, submarine canyons and "gas seeps,"...
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