The Okeanos deep diving ROV has been amazing us with wonderful views of the ocean floor for several years now. You never know what you’ll see on the high definition livestream coming to the public in real time from thousands of feet, sometimes thousands of meters, under the ocean surface.
Often times we get to see incredible Azoox corals, uber rare butterflyfish, and tons of invertebrates and exotic looking marinelife but the star of the most recent dives has got to be this sixgill stingray. On Okeanos’s deep dives there’s plenty of deepwater sharks and chimeras but the sixgill stingray is truly a very bizarre animal.
With its long pointed snout, there’s no mistaking Hexatrygon bickelli for any other species of stingray, and together with the stubby tail you could be forgiven for thinking this fish was swimming backwards. This particular observation is the best video recording of this species alive in its natural environment and it was captured at Musicians Seamount, a rise from the seafloor several hundred miles north of the Hawaiian Islands.
The somber coloration of the sixgill stingray with its long snout and dark beady eyes gives it a truly ghoulish appearance and it really looks like it belongs in this deep sea habitat. For more information about the sixgill stingray check out the very informative wikipedia page about this deep sea species.