A team of researchers with the California Academy of Sciences discovered a brand new species of fish — and somehow missed a huge shark swimming right on top of them. The whole underwater encounter was caught on video. And the best part? The divers speak exclusively in chipmunk voices.
That’s because the divers use a rebreather gas mixture that lets them dive deeper and spend more time underwater than a recreational diver can, Katie Jewett, a science writer for the California Academy of Sciences, tells The Verge in an email. And that gas mixture contains helium. “Hence, the chipmunk voices,” Jewett says. If Alvin and the Chipmunks decided to become scientific divers, this is what it would sound like.
Now, we Verge reporters are partial to a good fish video. But this one is especially charming because the researchers are so engrossed by their discovery that they completely miss their colleague and camera operator Mauritius Bell desperately trying to get them to just look at the nearly 10-foot-long sixgill shark swimming by.
To be fair to Luiz Rocha and Hudson Pinheiro, the researchers who missed the shark that was right there, they were busy nabbing a brand new species of fish — Tosanoides aphrodite — in that deep, dark reef. The team discovered it more than 400 feet underwater smack in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s a pretty cute fish with its neon pink and yellow stripes, but it’s hard to be more adorable than that chipmunk voice squeaking into the void, “Look at the shark!”