CRITTER: Meet puhi palahoana the Bearded Cusk Eel

  • Terry Lilley / Contributed

    The Bearded Cusk Eel is actually not an eel at all but a kind of ancient fish that usually lives in the deep sea way down on the sand seafloor and can get quite large.

There is a true deep-sea monster here in Hawai‘i that lives in very shallow water but is rarely ever seen! This two-foot-long eel looks like a cross between a catfish and a moray eel, and after 3,000 dives here in Hawai‘i I have only seen two of these unusual fish until the other night. While doing a night snorkel at Sharks Cove in O‘ahu in just three feet deep of water I was surrounded by over 10 of these fish, and got some very rare video of them.