The handfish, which belongs to the order of anglerfish, is among the strangest and most endangered animals in the world.
Recently, an image of a fish walking happily on its hand won first place in the cold water category of the Ocean Art 2022 photography competition. The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) in the photo by photographer Nicholas Remy does not actually have real hands, but modified pectoral fins , which you use to walk on the sea floor.
The spotted handfish is critically endangered, with only 3,000 individuals left in the wild. So it makes sense that Remy would take a nine-hour marathon dive before he found one in Hobart, Tasmania, on the Derwent River. Remy targeted the spotted handfish spot specifically, as it is a known location for the species, but with a view of only two meters, finding the animal was no easy task.
Drifting in the muddy darkness finally paid off, and thanks to some clever lighting, Remy was able to capture this stunning shot of the famous “handfish,” reports IFLScience.
The spotted handfish is a species of anglerfish found only in southeastern Australia and off the coast of Tasmania. It feeds on crustaceans, worms and shellfish.
Unfortunately, the days of handfish are numbered. The smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis), a relative of the spotted handfish, became the first species of modern marine fish to be declared extinct in 2020.