Nautilus

Strange Eyeless Fish Creates Its Own Sonar Signals to “See”

The blind cavefish alongside two of its sighted relativesImage Courtesy of NYU

Deep in some pitch-black, underwater caves in Mexico, there lives a peculiar little pinkish-white fish. Only about four inches long, this albino has taste buds on the outside of its lower jaw, sleeps very little, and, most interestingly, has no eyes. 

This blind fish (Astyanax mexicanus) evolved relatively recently from a surface fish that does have eyes and lives in the nearby river systems. At some point between a half a million and five millions years ago, some

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus5 min read
What Is the Human Microbiome, Exactly?
Are you an ecosystem? Your mouth, skin, and gut are home to whole communities of microscopic organisms, whose influence on your body ranges from digesting your food to training your immune system and, possibly, impacting your mood and behavior. What
Nautilus12 min read
We Need Insects More Than They Need Us: Inside the world of plastic-eating worms, dung-rolling beetles, and agricultural ants..
The interconnection of the world is a wonder. Consider the United States Declaration of Independence, says Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, a conservation biologist. It was written with the help of a wasp. In July, 1776, when Timothy Matlack, a clerk with sta
Nautilus5 min readScience
Think You Know the Definition of a Black Hole? Think Again
When I was 12, I made the mistake of watching the Paul W. S. Anderson horror film, Event Horizon. It gave me nightmares for weeks: The movie’s title refers to an experimental spaceship that could create artificial black holes through which to travel,