Transparent-headed fish sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie and even more so as it looks through the top of its head and its "eyes" are not actually eyes. The Barreleye is a unique species and belongs to the genus Macropinna. First discovered in 1939 by a marine biologist named Chapman, nobody actually realized this amazing fish had a transparent head until 2004. Factslegend Org notes that the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute eventually managed to capture one of them alive for closer study by researchers Reisenbichler and Robinson.

Transparent head encloses strange eyes

The Barreleye fish with a transparent head took so long to come to the attention of scientists as specimens dragged from the depths had pressure damage. With modern technology, the fish was seen to exhibit a transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head. The lenses of the eyes may be seen through the fluid. The green looking eerie tubular lenses absorb light from the depths, and they can see only upwards and forward.

The fish actually spend most of their time staring directly through the roof of the head. Their almost binocular style vision allows them to scan their prey through the top of the head rather than through eyes. The lenses rotate forward only when the fish grabs its prey.

Weirdly, the forward vision encompasses the mouth. Imagine watching yourself eating? You can see how odd the fish looks in the video shown below.

If you look at the fish, what you may think are eyes, actually are not

The Barreleye fish appears to have eyes in the normal place, but they actually are not. According to National Geographic, they contain the olfactory organs of the fish.

In human terms, these are the equivalent of nostrils. They look like eyes and sit on the face where we would expect to see them. That would be enough to flummox any early scientist. But now, thanks to the institute scientists, much about this odd fish has been disclosed. One of them revealed a lot when placed in an aquarium.

In the wild, these fish cannot look downwards. Maybe that helped to trap one. They navigate with very large fins, so large in relation to the body that they can remain motionless in the water as they scan for food. It's thought they feed by stealing the prey of species like jellies. Their tiny, toothless mouths indicate they are specialist feeders. The jelly-like transparent domed head may protect them from stings.

Barreleye fish occur in deep oceans

According to, the fish may be found in deep dark water at between 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 800 metres (2,600 ft). The fish occurs in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. The weird fish with eyes inside a transparent head and "eyes" that are not eyes must encounter something that preys on it, but as yet scientists have no idea what that might be. Stay in touch with interesting and viral news by following the Viral Stories Channel of Blasting Pop.