AMERICAN SAMOA ― During a recent sea exploration, scientists came across an unusual sight. An armored sea robin was seen walking the deep sea-floor as captured on video by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Rather than swim, this particular species of fish strolls on the ocean floor.
What appears to be legs and performs like legs are actually “stiff fin rays” for these bottom dwellers. These fish also have long whiskers allowing the fish to taste while roaming the deep sea-floor.
Scientists were aboard the research vessel Okeanos Explorer on the 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa. During this expedition’s second dive within the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, a variety of sea life was observed such as squat lobsters, hermit crabs, large-eyed shrimp, a snake eel and a toad fish as well as the “walking” sea robin.
As technology continues to advance allowing scientists to explore deeper and darker parts of the ocean, more fascinating sea life will continue to be discovered. In fact ninety-five percent of the world’s ocean is still unexplored, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Okeanos Explorer website.
The “telepresence technology” as used during this expedition allows “scientists on shore [from all over the world] to join the operation in real time and allows the general public to follow the expedition online,” as stated on the NOAA website.
photo courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa