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The dive crew at Amigos del Mar Dive Shop, San Pedro, made a strange and unique discovery at the Great Blue Hole on Thursday, August 18, 2011, as Michael Hancock pulled out a deep sea fish that has yet to be identified by personnel at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office.

Michael Hancock, dive master at Amigos del Mar, explains that he discovered the deep black colored fish floating on the surface of the water during his day trip to the Great Blue Hole of Belize; the creature was already dead. The crew at Amigos del Mar were baffled by the creature and were not able to identify it as they have never seen something like this before at the Blue Hole, better yet, in Belize. They believe it came from inside the Blue Hole cave system.

Deep Sea Fish Blue Hole

Michael Hancock (right) and dive crew of Amigos Del Mar boast their unique find

The fish clearly exhibits features and characteristics of a deep sea dwelling creature that lives at extremes depths of the ocean bottom. The fish measured over five feet in length, was jet black in color, had large eyes and mouth with tiny serrated teeth and an unusual long, pointed caudal (tail) fin.

Personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office arrived shortly to pick up the sea creature so that they could further inspect and identify it. It is believed that it surfaced from the depths of the Great Blue Hole after it died. It is not yet known how the animal perished, but it is surely a great find by the dive crew at Amigos del Mar.

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Update: Friends and reliable sources of Ambergris Today have confirmed to us that the fish find is a species of Grenadier (also known as Rattail Fish). Grenadiers are one of the most abundant deep sea fishes and there are well over 300 species scientifically identified so far. Through some contacts the pictures were sent to deep sea scientists who have confirmed this. They will look at it in further detail and update us if they know more information. Identifying the fish to the right species can only be possible through genetic analysis, so unless a scientist has studied this species in extent will he be able to identify it through a picture. Will keep everybody posted with further details.

Dorian Nuñez's picture

Dorian Nuñez


  1. avatar

    Looks like it is of the snapper family based on its jawline.

  2. avatar

    Has the mouth of a large grouper or jewfish.  Bit it does not look too scaly so it resembles some fish in the jack family.  Let's see if Hol Chan has expert personnel.

  3. avatar

    Another prehistoric fish thought to be extinct?

  4. avatar

    Why the hell kill the fish? you sould research and study the dam fish before anything jeeeeeez

  5. avatar

    I am very disturbed by the incorrect information regarding identification of this fish and the role of Hol Chan. And for those skeptics as to the qualification of personnel at Hol Chan, the fish was identified from yesterday over the phone by the Hol Chan biologist with little but a verbal description and positively identified this morning. The fish is not a new or endangered species i am sorry to report but very common. Its from the family Grenadiers/Rattail family that is a deep sea fish. It is seldom seen because it inhabits the very deep and feeds from whatever falls to the bottom, it's a bottom feeder. It is often caught as by-catch in trawl nets. A smaller fish of the same family was brought to Hol Chan last year by Mr. Alberto Bradley. I am glad that the guys from Amigos brought this fish in so that people can know that they exist.

  6. avatar

    this might be your fish..


  7. avatar

    what ever family this fish comes from it is defently a bottom feeder it has the mouth line and feature of many same bottom feeders like carp and gudgen i have fished all around the world and caught many diffrent types of fish but this one is new to me could some one tell me the exact location of were this fish was caught and i will try and catch one and take it to some one to research it.

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