UPY 2017 Portrait - Highly Commended

Jeff Milisen

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UPY 2017 Portrait - Highly Commended
'Lophiodes fimbriatus' - Jeff Milisen

Blackwater diving, defined as drifting through the open ocean at night over thousands of feet of water, is all about seeing life that you have never witnessed before. One night, my buddy pointed out what looked like an egg-yolk jelly, which aren't commonly found in the shallows around Hawaii. But as I looked closer, fins and eyes started to appear and I realized this wasn't a jelly at all, but an anglerfish! The 3 cm long fish with 6cm long tendrils was wonderfully camouflaged to look like a stinging, inedible jelly. You won't find Lophiodes fimbriatus in any book on Hawaii's fishes-this is the first time it has been observed this far east, and possibly the third time it has ever been seen at all!

Judge's comment: Alex Mustard: What a fantastic character, it is hard to imagine a fish so bizarre can really exist.

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