Weird Fish Species Discovered In The Extreme Depths Of Pacific Ocean

Posted: Sep 12 2018, 2:39pm CDT | by , Updated: Sep 12 2018, 2:51pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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Weird Fish Species Discovered in the Extreme Depths of Pacific Ocean
The Atacama snailfish. Credit: Newcastle University

The new snailfish species are extremely fragile and will melt rapidly if brought to the surface.

Scientists investigating in one of the deepest parts of Pacific Oceans have discovered three entirely new species of fish. All three species are snailfish and temporarily named the pink, the blue and the purple Atacama Snailfish. These fish have been found living at depths of 7,500 meters (24,000 feet) below the surface and provide new insight about what kind of life thrives in the deepest, darkest regions of the ocean.

Snailfish are found at many different depths of oceans around the world, but the ones that exist in deep oceans are small, translucent and scaleless. They are highly adept at surviving harsher conditions thousands of feet below the surface. At such depths, the temperature is freezing cold and the water pressure is equivalent to an elephant standing on your thumb.

“There is something about the snailfish (fish of the family Liparidae) that allows them to adapt to living very deep. Beyond the reach of other fish they are free of competitors and predators,” said Dr. Thomas Linley from Newcastle University.

“Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure and in fact the hardest structures in their bodies are the bones in their inner ear which give them balance and their teeth. Without the extreme pressure and cold to support their bodies they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly when brought to the surface.”

The latest expedition to the Atacama Trench has captured the rare footage of these elusive snailfish species. People expect that deepest fish would be lonely and motionless. But that’s not the case with newfound species. They are sociable and active and have plenty of invertebrate prey available.

The expedition that involved a team of 40 scientists from 17 different nations used two landers equipped with advanced cameras to explore the ultra-deep environments in the Atacama Trench. Atacama Trench is almost 6000 kilometers long and over 8000 meters deep. It runs along the west coast of South America.

During the expedition, researchers explored regions ranging from 2537 to around 8000 meters deep. This deepest point is known as Richard's Deep. Researchers were able to collect more than 100 hours of video and 11,468 photographs in the trip. Apart from snailfish, they also found various bizarre creatures in the environment such as long-legged isopods or Munnopsids. These crustaceans are capable of swimming backwards and upsides down.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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