Here are two wonderful freaks for your amusement and education, making up for last week’s Great Internet Cock-Up, during which no freaks could be distributed:
1. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typhos)
The Whale Shark is truly a vacuum cleaner of the deep, using its capacious mouth (up to 1.5m wide) to filter-feed on plankton, krill, larvae and small squid.
The species is also identified with a Vietnamese deity, and called “Ca Ong” which literally translates to “Sir Fish”, if Wikipedia is to believed. Which it probably isn’t.
2. Deep Sea Hatchetfish (Argyropelecus gigas)
A hatchetfish has fixed upwards-gazing eyes to seek the silhouettes of prey moving above.
It protects itself from predators lurking below by adopting a strategy of counterillumination, with light-generating organs called ‘photophores’ on its belly and flanks camouflaging its silhouette. This may appear to be magic, but is actually most likely due to the wonders of science.