While it may look like a cousin of the creature from the “Alien” movies, this creature is much smaller than the extra-terrestrial menace. Known colloquially as the Dragonfish, the grammatostomias flagellibarba grows to about six inches in length. Like other deep sea fish, it has a mouth filled with elongated teeth but it sports a barbel—a thin string-like growth extending from its lower jaw—that glows to lure fish close enough that it can strike. This fish lives in waters about 5000 feet deep in tropical regions of the world.
Looking more like a deflated basketball than anything else, the angler fish (or melanocetus johnsoni) is more grotesque than frightening. Still, its appearance has earned it the nickname “common black devil.” This fish grows to about 5 inches in length, and uses a glowing dorsal fin to attract prey. Like human anglers, this fish uses its fin as a lure, turning it on and off while waving it back and forth to attract prey. As soon as a fish gets close enough, the angler clamps down and eats its victim. Unlike some other species, the male angler is significantly smaller than the female (female pictured above). Male anglers latch on to a female and suck blood and nutrients from her for the rest of her life. Anglers live at depths of 3000 feet and live in many locales throughout the world.