HALIFAX — For a brief moment, Nova Scotia fisherman Scott Tanner thought he might have a case of cabin fever when he spotted a fish with glowing, green eyes in his trawler’s net.
The 23-year-old Lunenburg man was about a month into a 40-day commercial fishing trip for cod and redfish off Newfoundland and Labrador’s Grand Banks when the mysterious creature turned up, shocking even veteran fishermen on board.
“It stood out right away with the green eyes,” said Tanner, who snapped photos of the dead fish and posted them on Facebook. “Everybody was pretty amazed by it. The older guys, even, said they’d never seen one before.”
With its luminous peepers, long tail, sword-like nose and fins resembling wings, the fish netted last month has caught both the intrigue and disgust of the Internet.
There were more than 700 comments Tuesday posted under an image of the alien-like fish on the popular social media site Reddit.
Andrew Hebda, curator of zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, offered a more scientific-based explanation: the bug-eyed creature appears to be a knifenose chimera — one of three chimera species in North Atlantic waters.
“It’s a kind of neat-looking thing,” he said. “The eyes are quite striking.”
In Greek monster mythology, the chimera is described as a grotesque mashup between a lion, a goat and a snake that spews fire.
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