Alien 4




Alien #4 is a tripodfish of the genus Bathypterois, possibly Bathypterois grallator or viridensis (unconfirmed).  This is specimen is quite large for the larval stage, at about 6cm in length.  Only at this larval stage do they come up into depths shallow enough for scuba diving, and only at night.  They complete this vertical migration each dawn and dusk with countless other zooplankton.  Upon metamorphosizing into an adult, a tripodfish will grow up to 1m in length, and it’s fin rays will change into the namesake tripod, where it “walks” on an elongated pair of pelvic fins and a ray from the tail fin.  Without an active swim bladder, it will spend it’s entire adult life on the sea floor at extreme depths from ~1000-3000m deep, spanning the Mesopelagic, the Bathypelagic, and the Abyssopelagic Zones, so it is safe to say that no human has ever seen an adult tripodfish while scuba diving.

Larval tripodfish, such as this one, tend to hover motionless in a vertical position, waiting for tiny prey such as amphipods, until disturbed.  They then become somewhat hyperactive, swimming in circles with their beautiful pectoral fins pressed flat against the body.  I have hundreds of photos of dozens of specimens with their fins in “swimming position”, but my mission was to get the perfect “radar dish” pose showing the true splendor of the fin’s reach and color.  Since shooting this image, I’ll rarely pull the camera’s trigger on a tripodfish, unless it gives me a similar pose, which often leaves me following one for 10+ minutes with nothing to show for it.

When making an arrangement of Aliens in a grouping on a wall, I often like to use contrasting shapes like an “O X O”, such as #4 #23, #16. But if matching color is more appealing than shape, try pairing it with #12 and #13.

For printing, we offer the Aliens as squares on either aluminum or canvas, but they are customizable into other shapes if your design plan requires it.  You can purchase this luxury wall art online in standard sizes.  Perhaps our most popular arrangement for Aliens is a grouping of three of our 15″x15″ aluminums, but I encourage you to discuss the size & shape of your project’s wall, and one of our design consultants will help you develop an amazing contemporary art installation that blurs the lines between natural beauty and scientific fascination.