Scientists had never actually seen these creatures mate in the wild, but sadly, that’s no longer case. As Katie Langin reports in Science Magazine, this unprecedented footage was captured by wildlife filmmakers Kirsten and Joachim Jakobsen, a wife and husband team who were exploring an area near the Azores on behalf of the Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation when they came across the sexy scene.
“I’ve been studying these [animals] for most of my life and I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Ted Pietsch, a deep-sea fish researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Most of what we know about deep-sea anglerfish comes from dead animals pulled up in nets. Scientists have identified more than 160 species, but only a handful of videos exist—and this is the first to show a sexually united pair. “So you can see how rare and important this discovery is,” Pietsch says. “It was really a shocker for me.”