Scientists were baffled when they uncovered a bizarre deep-sea creature 1km off the coast of Hawaii and they have finally identified it as a Gulper Eel
National Geographic caught a crazy looking creature on camera in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, a US national monument covering 583,000 square miles of water. In 2018 a group of researchers on the Nautilus Expedition decided to go 1km under the surface to observe ten previously unexplored sites for the marine life.
The scientists were initially surprised when the creature was spotted, one even claiming that it 'looks like a muppet'. The creature appeared to puff up at them in self-defence, “It’s getting defensive, it’s getting mad." However, the bizarre eel is actually opening its mouth in self-defence to inflate like a balloon. It then later returned back to its normal size and swam away.
The researchers identified the creature as a gulper eel or pelican eel, a rare deep-sea eel which can open its mouth to 11 times the size it's body. This mechanism allows the eels to catch all kinds of prey like a fishing net, despite this it is mostly known to eat small crustaceans.
Watch the video above to see the creature in action.