The dive crew at Amigos del Mar Dive Shop, San Pedro, made a strange and unique discovery at the Great Blue Hole on Thursday, August 18, 2011, as Michael Hancock pulled out a deep sea fish that has yet to be identified by personnel at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office.
Michael Hancock, dive master at Amigos del Mar, explains that he discovered the deep black colored fish floating on the surface of the water during his day trip to the Great Blue Hole of Belize; the creature was already dead. The crew at Amigos del Mar were baffled by the creature and were not able to identify it as they have never seen something like this before at the Blue Hole, better yet, in Belize. They believe it came from inside the Blue Hole cave system.
Michael Hancock (right) and dive crew of Amigos Del Mar boast their unique find
The fish clearly exhibits features and characteristics of a deep sea dwelling creature that lives at extremes depths of the ocean bottom. The fish measured over five feet in length, was jet black in color, had large eyes and mouth with tiny serrated teeth and an unusual long, pointed caudal (tail) fin.
Personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office arrived shortly to pick up the sea creature so that they could further inspect and identify it. It is believed that it surfaced from the depths of the Great Blue Hole after it died. It is not yet known how the animal perished, but it is surely a great find by the dive crew at Amigos del Mar.
Update: Friends and reliable sources of Ambergris Today have confirmed to us that the fish find is a species of Grenadier (also known as Rattail Fish). Grenadiers are one of the most abundant deep sea fishes and there are well over 300 species scientifically identified so far. Through some contacts the pictures were sent to deep sea scientists who have confirmed this. They will look at it in further detail and update us if they know more information. Identifying the fish to the right species can only be possible through genetic analysis, so unless a scientist has studied this species in extent will he be able to identify it through a picture. Will keep everybody posted with further details.