This Crazy Deep-Sea Fish Has a Completely Transparent Head

The barreleye fish looks like a model in a high school science classroom with a see-through portion to allow for an examination of the inner workings. But this is how the astonishingly bizarre fish naturally occurs—transparent head and all.

Though it was first discovered in 1939, little was known about Macropinna microstoma for the next 70 years. The only information about the fish, which lives 2000 to 2600 feet below the surface, came from damaged specimens caught in fishing nets, meaning scientists never saw an intact barreleye fish until recently. Depictions from the 20th century show the large, tubular eyes necessary to make use of limited sunlight, but they failed to show the fluid-filled dome that covers those unusual peepers.

In 2009, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was finally able to film the barreleye fish in its natural habitat using a remotely operated camera and captured a short-lived specimen for research purposes. This first-ever footage of the curious creature, seen below, revealed the transparent dome that covers and protects its eyes.

The two dark spots that look like eyes are actually part of the barreleye fish's olfactory system, and are akin to nostrils. Meanwhile, its eyes are the bright green orbs inside its head. In the video, they're pointing upward, scanning the water above for potential prey. Scientists had long wondered how the fish would actually feed if it is always looking perpendicular to where its mouth is, but MBARI researchers determined that the eyes can swivel within the clear dome to face forward if need be. The scientists speculate the barreleye fish hunts by stealing captured prey from massive jellies like siphonophores. The transparent head acts as a shield to protect the fish's eyes from the jelly's stinging tentacles as it snatches a snack with its small, precise mouth

A Nubian Goat Named Lincoln Was Just Sworn in as the Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont

iStock.com/Evgeniia Khmelnitskaia
iStock.com/Evgeniia Khmelnitskaia

Lincoln the goat may not be housebroken, but she had no problem winning the race for mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont. The new mayor was officially sworn in on Tuesday, March 12, and before signing the oath of office with her hoof print, she marked the occasion by defecating on the town hall floor, the Boston Globe reports.

Prior to getting into politics, Lincoln the droopy-eared Nubian goat lived a simple life. A local family looking for a way to maintain the unruly vegetation on their property had purchased her two years ago when she was 1 year old. At age 3, Lincoln transitioned from munching grass full-time to running for public office.

Though Lincoln's win is impressive, her election didn't involve beating any human candidates. Town Manager Joseph Gunter came up with the idea to hold an election for honorary pet mayor of Fair Haven as way to raise money for a new playground. For a $5 fee, local kids were allowed to nominate the pet of their choice to be town mayor. Lincoln bested more than a dozen candidates, including a gerbil named Crystal and a pacifier-sucking dog named Stella, for the position.

The stunt didn't raise much money—the town came away with just $100 for the playground—but it did earn Fair Haven international attention. In order to go down in history as world's longest-serving animal mayor, Lincoln has to stick around for a while; Stubbs the cat was mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for 20 years.

[h/t Boston Globe]

The 10 Most Popular Puppy Names of 2019

iStock.com/Lakshmi3
iStock.com/Lakshmi3

If you brought home a new dog or puppy recently and named it Luna, you’re far from the only one. The name, which means moon in Latin, is the most popular puppy name for 2019.

This analysis of cute canine monikers comes from Trupanion, a provider of medical insurance for pets. The company looked at its database of 500,000 dogs and crunched the numbers to identify the names that are currently having a moment. (Although some of the names that cracked the top 10 list, like Daisy and Max, have been around for quite some time.)

Interestingly, Luna wasn’t always popular. As Trupanion points out, “Looking back 10 years, Luna was barely a blip on the name game chart … not even cracking the list of top 20 names.” Nor did it appear on ​Banfield Pet Hospital's list of the 10 most popular dog names of 2018.

Often, there's some overlap between popular pet names and baby names. Luna was the 31st most popular baby name for girls in 2018. This is perhaps linked to the popularity of the Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood, as well as the publicity the name has received in recent years from celebrities like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, as both couples named their daughters Luna.

Second on the list of popular puppy names is Bella (its longer form, Isabella, was the fifth most popular baby name for girls last year). Check out the top 10 list below to see if your pooch’s name is trending right now.

1. Luna
2. Bella
3. Charlie
4. Bailey
5. Lucy
6. Cooper
7. Max
8. Daisy
9. Bear
10. Oliver

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