It’s a fish with eyes on top of its head, and it’s known as the giant stargazer (Kathetostoma giganteum). There are about 50 different species of stargazers around the world. The giant stargazer is endemic to the continental shelf of New Zealand.
Not only do the eyes of all stargazers face upward, so do their mouths. That’s because stargazers camouflage themselves with sand at the bottom of the water and wait for their prey. When a fish or invertebrate passes over, the stargazer will leep up and ambush it. Stargazers also have a venomous bite to kill their prey.
The giant stargazer has a large head and a body that may be almost 3 feet (90 cm) long. In some cultures, stargazers are considered to be a delicacy, and they can be purchased in fish markets. For most of us, they are just strange-looking fish that play a role in the amazing tapestry of life that God designed for this planet.
© Roland Earnst