The alien world of the deep sea has some very odd inhabitants.
Photographer Wayne MacWilliams dove into the waters off the coast of Singer Island in Palm Beach, Florida, to capture a particularly fascinating moment from the deep sea's black abyss.
The images show a translucent sea creature, known as a salp, with a shimmering fish in its belly.
Sarah Matye and Jeff Milisen, pelagic biologists and underwater photographers from Hawaii, explained to IFLScience: "This fish, a Holocentrid, is not being eaten by this salp, it is living inside the salp and hiding. This larval fish hide wherever they can out in the empty pelagic ocean, and a salp makes a great home, especially when blinded by strobes!"
MacWilliams, the original photographer, told the MailOnline, “I was drifting, at night in pitch black, it was really fun as you just do not know what will come your way. It may be a bit intimidating, it can be very spooky the first time you do it because it is jet black with no bottom to speak of.”
He added: “These beautiful creatures are interesting, bizarre, to say the least and pretty foreign to me. I have done this type of diving a couple times and plan on doing more.”
image credit: Wayne MacWilliams/Cater News Agency