A gulper eel was found off Hawaii by researchers conducting deep-sea exploration of the sea floor on September 19.

The eel, which has a slender body shape, can scoop up larger prey just like a pelican, and has a large mouth which gives it a muppet-like look when inflated. The rare sighting was part of the second dive in a two-week expedition aboard the E/V Nautilus exploring parts of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, said the researchers.

Video provided to Reuters has audio of the group of researchers cooing over the eel as it morphed from a dark shape - much like a comma - to its small, slender body, then wiggling away.

Gulper eels also go by the name pelican eel or umbrella mouth, and can grow up to three feet in length. Researchers said that this eel was most likely a juvenile.


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