Barreleye Fish

Barreleye Fish…

Barreleye fish (Opisthoproctus soleatus)
Opisthoproctus soleatus, a species of barreleye (Opisthoproctidae). Image credit: Brauer, A.

This deep-sea fish is one of the most bizarre beings in the sea. It has a transparent head, a snout-like, toothless mouth and large, barrel-like eyes (hence the name).

It also has two distinctive organs on its face, and although these may look like eyes (to the untrained observer), they are actually nares, olfactory organs that function like nostrils.

Barreleye Fish (Winteria telescopa)
Winteria telescopa, a species of barreleye (Opisthoproctidae). From Brauer, A., 1906.

The barreleye fish’s actual eyes are awesome. Unlike those of most fish, the eyes of the barreleye fish point in the same direction, which gives them excellent binocular vision (where the two eyes form a single image). Encased within a transparent, fluid-filled shield covering the top of its head (which may help it to see better in the dark), its eyes can either point upward, searching for prey in the dim light above them, or forward, when swimming toward that prey.

These 6-inch (15-centimeter) long fish dwell at depths of about 3330 feet (1015 meters).

Barreleye Fish are featured in the following books:
25 Deep Sea Creatures
25 Weirdest Animals in the World




The YouTube video playlist below contains a video about Barreleye Fish . Details of the video featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  • This is some great footage of a large Pacific barreleye fish that was taken by the people at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

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