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Rare Video of Anglerfish Mating

The dark world of this anglerfish is female dominated ,where tiny males hold onto females, feed through her, and offer the only thing they have in return.

Eight hundred meters below the surface, this ROV captured not only a rarely seen fish – an anglerfish – but also caught a glimpse of mating.  

Some species of anglerfish have extreme sexual dimorphism (where one sex is larger than the other) , and engage in polyandrous sexual symbiosis.   What does all of this mean?  It means that the male anglerfish are tiny in comparison to the females and one female mates with mutliple males – at the same time.  Plus, the males join together with the femals for extended periods of time, sometimes forever living as part of the female’s body. 

Well, weirdness aside, this anglerfish’s lures are mesmerizing (as intended) and we’re excited to bear witness to something that normally happens well beyond our ability to find and see. 


Producer Sarah Crespi story by Katie Langin

Video Footage Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation

Illustrations C. Chun, Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer “Valdivia” (1898-1899)