A new species of fish was discovered by a man snorkeling in the Red Sea off the coast of Eilat, famous for its aquatic and coral life.
The remarkable find was made several months ago when local resident Mori Chen was swimming around and noticed something shiny on the sea bed, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday.
Chen dived down to retrieve the item, imagining it to be a piece of metal, and instead discovered that it was a curious, skinny fish, about 38 centimeters long, lying dead at the bottom of the sea. He took the fish out of the water and asked Israel Nature and Parks Authority wardens if they knew what it was. The baffled wardens packed the fish in ice and sent it on to Dani Golani, director of the fish department at the National Collections of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
After consulting with experts abroad Golani was able to confirm that the fish was indeed a new species of cutlassfish. These fish, which grow to be about a meter in length, are usually found deep at the bottom of the ocean.
“It shows we don’t know everything,” Golani told The Times of Israel.
Golani explained that the fish found in Eilat had been bitten on its back, a possibly fatal wound that may have caused the creature to move in closer to the shore where it was eventually found.
The new species is to be officially named in a scientific journal scheduled for publication in March. Whether or not it will become commonly known as a “Mori fish,” after its discoverer, remains to be seen.