Anglerfish Physically Fuse to Their Mates, And We Finally Know How That’s Possible

Dating is difficult enough when you have adequate option, however picture wandering through a dark nothingness, half-formed and helpless, starved for nutrients and love.

So goes the life of a bachelor anglerfish, and when there aren’t lots of fish in the deep sea, you can’t blame them for being a little clingy when they do discover one.

Still, some anglerfish take that neediness to the extreme. When particular types seek a huge woman in the dark, they will take out their sharp teeth and bite their date by the stomach.

Once they have a firm grasp, these small males, often no bigger than a centimetre, will release an enzyme that liquifies the surrounding skin, blending his and her tissues, and developing a typical blood circulation of blood.

Comfortable at last in a relationship that serves him up routine meals, the male might even begin to lose its eyes, fins and some internal organs.

Arrow reveals a 23.5 mm big male merged onto a female anglerfish. (Edith A. Widder)

In this gruesome method, these fish ended up being absolutely nothing more than faithful and caring appendages with testes. Or, more properly, sexual parasites.

As one biologist put it in 1938: “This is sheer fiction, beyond all belief unless we have seen the proof of it.”

And we have – we’ve in fact got video footage. Outside of similar adjoined twins, researchers state this …

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