Tuesday, August 16, 2022

WATCH: Diver encounters bizarre hairy creatures strolling across the seabed

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In a jaw-dropping moment, a diver spotted two hairy fish utilizing their legs to take a stroll alongside the seabed.  

Susan Gardner, 64, filmed the weird creatures throughout an early-morning dive in Lake Price Lagoon close to Palm Seaside, Florida.

Footage exhibits a gaggle of brown fish with clumps of ‘hair’ that look like strolling throughout the ground of the ocean.

What she’d encountered were hairy frogfish, a species that’s been called ‘one of the strangest and most fascinating fish in the ocean’.

It takes its name from its coat of irregularly-arranged spines, which resemble hair and let the predator blend in with coral and seaweed, helping it to ambush unsuspecting prey.

Their ‘legs’ are actually modified pectoral fins which allow them to walk along the ocean floor looking for prey.

It’s pure luck that Mrs Gardner, a retired pharmacist, noticed them at all.

‘I spotted movement in my peripheral vision and went to investigate,’ she said.

‘I got close to them and realised that these striated frogfish were tailing into the shallows. We are lucky to see them as they breed here every year.’

She continued: ‘Getting closer, I noticed the leader was very pregnant.

‘These fish are bottom dwellers. They are poor swimmers and usually move by walking on modified fins that resemble legs.

‘The pregnant one had a large belly that was so big it prevented her rear legs from touching the sand, so she was moving her front legs and wagging her tail to move forward.

‘They also veered from side to side with the water motion. It helps to make them seem like they are part of the bottom algae.

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