MONSTER FROGFISH FOUND!


(dramatic music) – [Coyote] The Pacific Ocean is home to thousands of animals. Many of which none
of us will actually ever encounter in the wild. So in order to see
the wonderful world of ocean creatures
that is out there, we as humans need to
go beyond the tide, and actually beneath the surface to get up close and personal. Today we will be diving
off the coast of Kauai, one of the most
iconic landmasses in the Hawaiian island chain. – I got some news for ya, Mark. – [Mark] What’s that? – I saw some frog
fish yesterday. – [Mark] What? And you didn’t tell me? – Well we had the
crown of thorns already and I didn’t wanna stop
what we were doing, but I think we can catch one. – [Mark] How can
we catch a fish? – Well, they’re very lumbering. They’re what I would consider
a lumbering fish species. And I think if we
use that same bucket that we had in the
crown of thorns episode, we put it in front of it and gently coax it
into the bucket, we can get it up on shore, place it into an aquarium, and get up close
with the cameras. What do ya think? – [Mark] Hey, if it involves
a frog fish, I’m in. Let’s do it. – Dude! We’re catchin’ frog fish. – [Mark] Alright. – Alright, lets go! – In our previous
dives at this location we witnessed an incredibly
bio-diverse ecosystem where we encountered
everything from sea cucumbers to sea turtles. – A giant male, saw
the male and female right next to each other. The males over here at the
rocks feeding right now. – [Mark] There he is. – [Coyote] Can you see him? – [Mark] Yeah. – [Coyote] Our target species
today will be the frogfish. A bizarre looking,
alien-like creature that is known for being
a master of camouflage. So finding one, let alone
safely catching it in a bucket, is going to be a
serious challenge. Dive safety is imperative. So once again, we will be
working alongside TBI experts, Mike Hannah and Brian O’Hara. With our regulators in
place, we deflated our BCD’s and began our descent down
towards the ocean floor. As you drop, the water
embraces your body. And as you peer
through your dive-mask, the great blue world around
you comes into focus. Fish school by the thousands with all their brilliant
colors and varying sizes. Spiny sea-urchins lace the
rocks like underwater landmines. If you are lucky a
giant green sea-turtle may even flipper
by to say hello. Searching for frogfish however, is a completely
different challenge. As their obscure body
shapes directly mirror the surrounding rocks
and coral structures, making them almost
invisible to the eyes of any passable predator
or general admirer. With Mike and Brian leading
us deeper into the unknown, we continued our search. My dive fins gracefully
propelled me forward as I carefully scanned
the environment. And while the underwater
world of the Pacific Ocean is beautiful, its
also disorienting. In a way it feels as if
you were on a completely different planet with
its bizarre looking
plants and rocks. Even the coral, which
is actually an animal, looks like something out
of a science-fiction novel. With the amazing scenery,
and plethora of animal life surrounding me, it wasn’t
difficult to get lost in a dreamlike trance that
the ocean instills upon you. Then suddenly, I was
shaken back into reality. As Mike signaled that he
had spotted our target, the one and only frogfish. I gently drifted into position,
as Mark readied the camera. We were going to have
one shot at this catch because while these fish may
appear slow and sluggish, they are capable of
amazing bursts of speed and can disappear in
the blink of an eye. With the mouth of
the bucket open, I lightly tickled the fish’s
tail-fin coaxing it forward. Come on, so close. And then right before
our very eyes, whoosh! The bizarre looking
creature swam right inside and I closed the lid. Alright, we got one! This was absolutely amazing and just when we thought
it couldn’t get any better Brian located a second frogfish. Using the same method, I gently coaxed it
into the other bucket. We’re in business. Time to head to the surface
for the presentation. Whooh, two, two. Whooh, alright guys! Well we have returned
with not one, but two enormous frogfish. Those buckets get
heavy in a hurry. – Geez, that bucket’s heavy. – Look at that beast, he’s huge. That is a giant frogfish. Frogfish number one, that’s
the first one we caught. And that right there,
is the second one. Its a little bit smaller,
but its perfectly camoflaged. How cool is that. – [Mark] What a
cool, cool fish, man! – Okay, lets get these buckets
into a controlled situation and get both of the
fish into an aquarium. Take a better look, yeah. Awesome. Wow, I hope you guys
are ready for this. Here comes the frogfish. Alright, I’m gonna very,
very gently pick it up here. Very gentle. Wow, its not slimy
like a normal fish, its actually very rough. Okay, gently set it
into the aquarium. Bubble of air there. Let it sink down. Wow, have you ever seen
a fish this bizarre? Now Mark, I know this is
your favorite fish species, so how excited
are you right now? – [Mark] I’m over
the moon right now. Since I was a kid, I’ve
been obsessed with frogfish. That is such a cool fish. – [Coyote] I love the eye. Zoom in on its eye. Its so angry looking. – [Mark] It looks like
a snapping turtle eye. – It does kinda look like
a snapping turtle eye. This is just such
a cool predator. And all those fins, all
in different shapes. Now, the pelvic fins are
used to keep it in position on a head of coral. However, they’re also used,
and this is where they get the name frogfish, they
actually kind of walk or slowly hop along
the ocean floor. And I love watching it
use its pelvic fins there to move itself around the tank. You can see that’s
how it balances itself and what its looking for right
now is any sort of stronghold to get itself
locked in position. – [Mark] It almost
looks like it has hands. – The webbed fins almost kind
of look like suction cups the way that they
grab onto things. And notice how distinct
looking this fish is. It looks just like coral. That camouflage pattern
allows it to stay hidden. Now of course that
keeps it camouflaged from potential predators
but more importantly, its camouflage is
what it relies on to be such an aggressive
ambush predator. Now this animal is a
voracious carnivore, which means that they
will eat anything that comes across their path. They’re ambush hunters right. So they’ll sit
there, lie in wait for an unsuspecting prey item
to come across their mouth. In less than six milliseconds,
it can gobble down anything that gets
in front of it. Their mouths can actually
open 12 times the size of what you see on the
front of their face. And they can swallow food
almost as large as they are. Now if waiting for your food
to come along doesn’t work. They also have another
tactic for catching a meal. They have three distinct
spines on their dorsal ridge and the one upfront is
actually used as a lure to draw in fish, or small
shrimp, anything that comes in front of the
animal is fair game. That lure itself looks like
a small fish or a shrimp and it allows other
fish to think, ooh this might be
something for me to eat, when in turn they become
the ones that are eaten. Now there’s several different
varieties of frogfish. This one is a painted
frogfish and the way that I know that is you can
see what looks like eye-spots on the fins there, right. See that on the back dorsal fin? Pretty cool looking isn’t it? – [Mark] Whoa, what did
I see on its fin there? – [Coyote] Where? – [Mark] Oh I see that, its
kinda like an octopus vent. – [Coyote] Yeah, you see that. That’s located on the back
of the pelvic fins there and they can actually force
water through those openings to give themselves a jet
propulsion of speed if they need to quickly get away. Now similar to a frog,
you know when a frog jumps off an embankment into the
water, it goes choo, choo and darts around to try to hide. This fish can also manoeuvre
itself very quickly and then stop and be
completely camouflaged. And oftentimes that will help
it stay hidden from predators. Not only does that jet
propulsion push it forward, but it also kicks up sand
and sediment on the basin of the ocean kind
of throwing that into a potential predators eyes. – [Mark] Now these
aren’t fast fish. – Not particularly fast, they
can be fast in the instance they need to be, but for the
most part I would consider them to be a lumbering
fish species. They want to move more
slowly than anything. And again, keep in mind,
to be an ambush predator slower movements mean a greater
potential at catching food. – [Mark] So its safe
to say this fish isn’t trying to stand out. – No this fish is trying
to blend in at all costs. His entire life relies
on being camouflaged. – [Mark] I’ve always
wondered, Coyote, like tell me what the frogfish feels like. Cause I’ve only seen
them in aquariums and they kind of look like
they would be velvety. – Velvety is a
great way to put it. But a little rougher, like
a very, very fine sandpaper. Almost the way that
shark skin feels. They are not slimy at
all, like a normal fish. So if I gently pick it up
and I’m just going to do it for a very brief second. Trying to show
you its face here. Want to be as gentle as we can. See that, see that
big mouth up front. – [Mark] Look at that mug! – See that position there,
where they just push the fins out to the side,
stay locked in place. – [Mark] Oh, there we go. – Jet propulsion
water coming out. We want to keep it in the
water as much as we can. This fish needs to stay
hydrated, and obviously its breathing through its gills. One thing you may
notice is that this fish does not have any scales. That’s what makes
it very distinct amongst many other fish species. Now here’s something
that’s really, really cool. This fish is capable
of changing colors. It takes a couple of weeks. But if it moves from
one environment to
another under water, lets say for a while its
on a coral reef and then it goes down onto a sandy
area with some small rocks. In a matter of time, about
two weeks, they can actually change the color pigmentation
of their skin to perfectly camouflage into their
new environment. – [Mark] Really? I mean these come in
a variety of colors. – They pretty much cover the
entire spectrum of colors. And its all based on the
environment that they live in. Talk about a perfectly
adapted creature. Alright, so what
I want to do now, because this
frogfish is amazing. Believe it or not, we caught
a more bizarre looking and even bigger frogfish. Are you guys ready to see that? – [Mark] I think we’re ready. – Alright lets get this
one back into the bucket and bring in the giant. – [Mark] Wait, before we put
this away can we name it? Can we give it a name? – Sure, how about Freddy,
Freddy the frogfish. – [Mark] Alright, I like it. – Alright Freddy, gonna put
you back in your bucket okay. Alright I’m going to
bring the giant out. Wait until you guys
see how bizarre and distinct-looking
this frogfish is. Now this is the
Commerson’s frogfish. Also known as the
giant frogfish. And we’re only going to have
a few minutes to film with it. He’s very big. Alright, come here buddy. My goodness. I’m going to quickly put
him into the tank right. Look at that beast. Just let him sink
down to the bottom. Now the reason we really
want to get this one up close to the cameras is
look how much this animal looks like a head of coral. It even has little tubulars
growing off of its skin. Its crazy, its
perfectly camouflaged. Almost impossible
to see when this is beneath the ocean surface. Frogfish are incredibly
difficult to identify. Now the smaller one we
had out we do know was a painted frogfish. This one, based on
its size, I’m guessing is a Commerson’s, also
known as the giant frogfish. But it does seem to have
some distinct markings that make it look like
a painted frogfish. But you can tell from all the
camouflage that’s on its body it looks nothing
like the other one. I’d say that frogfish are one
of the most difficult species to properly identify. Now their little lure is
usually retracted unless they are hunting, but I can
actually see where it is. Right down there, you just
got to see it floating. Its tucked back. – [Mark] So Coyote, compared
to all the frogfish we saw, how much bigger is this one? – Massive, I mean easily
twice the size of the one we looked at earlier
and all the smaller ones we saw underwater
were very, very small. This thing is truly a giant. Whooh, I love this guy. Kind of reminds me a little
bit of a horn lizard, the way that they perfectly camouflage
into their environment. – [Mark] You see the pads
on the pectoral fins? It almost looks like they
have pads, like feet. – Let me feel those. Oh, they are, they’re
a little grippy. Almost like the toes of a newt. Oh I know buddy, he says
no don’t touch my fin pads! Well guys, I think its
definitely safe to say that the frogfish is one of
the most bizarre creatures we have ever featured
on Beyond the Tide. But before we go, Mark! Dude, its your favorite fish,
you have to pet the frogfish. Go ahead, put your
hand in there. – [Mark] Oh man, I’ve waited
a long time to do this. – [Coyote] Just like sandpaper. – [Mark] Whoa, almost like
an elephant or like a shark. – Don’t let him bite ya. – [Mark] Whoa, that is
awesome, so cool man. I can’t believe this,
I’m in awe right now. – Pretty special day huh? Well it is definitely time
to get this fish back off into the ocean. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild! We’ll see you on
the next adventure. With the sun sinking low on
the horizon we dropped below the surface and
carefully released the frogfish back
into their territory. For me, scuba diving has quickly
become a new found passion and an incredible way to
explore a world I only ever read about in books or
watched in documentaries. The time I spent diving
off the coast of Kauai was just the start and I
can say with certainty, we’re just getting
started when it comes to going beyond the tide. If you thought the
frogfish was fascinating. Make sure to go back
and watch the episode where we got the crown of
thorns up close for the cameras. Yikes, watch out
for those spikes. And don’t forget subscribe
so you can join me and the crew on our
next big adventure.

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