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What does the Mat of descriptors represent in a feature/descriptor extractor?

I have been using the SURF feature detector and trying to understand how it works. The usage of the SURF detector according to OpenCV 3 is --> surf->detectAndCompute(image, Mat(), keypoints, descriptors);

I want to know what exactly the Mat descriptors represent. On using imshow( ), a weird image with pixels of different gray scale intensities was shown. On printing to console, The matrix output ranged from different values like -0.65433e-05 etc.

Does anyone know what this represents?