Gulper Eel Inflating Like a Balloon Stuns Scientists on Underwater Expedition

Watch this strange eel transform its long skinny body into a blob-like shape.
Jessica Miley

There is still so much we don’t know about what lives in our oceans and despite lots of research, even scientists are still surprised by what they find.

Researchers aboard the exploration vessel, Nautilus, spied a dark shape in the water. On closer inspection, they were amazed to find it was a rare gulper eel. The eel had gone into a defense posture causing it to turn into a shifting disc shape.

The researchers were exploring the areas around the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument when they spotted the unusual creature. It’s a pleasure to hear the awe and respect the scientist have for the at first unidentifiable creature.

The eel transforms its long skinny body into an odd blob-like shape, its eye bulging and its tail almost unseen. The eel is able to expand its mouth to feed, but scientists now believe they also open their mouth like this in defense too.

The researchers are from the Ocean Exploration Trust, which founded by Dr. Robert Ballard in 2008. Dr. Ballard is best known for his discovery of RMS Titanic’s final resting place.

The Ocean Exploration Trust is dedicated to opening up scientific research to the public, offering open days and hands-on experiences related to ocean exploration. Stay tuned with their latest discoveries via their YouTube channel.