It’s hard to imagine life forms of any kind surviving the dark, extreme cold, and immense pressure (nearly 1000x that on land) 8,000 meters below the surface of the ocean.
And it’s really hard to imagine actual fish living down there. But sure enough, they do.
Along with capturing the first-ever images of rare “supergiant” amphipods, an international team of marine biologists, geologists, microbiologists and geneticists also discovered the deepest swimming fish ever recorded — a previously unknown species of snailfish — in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, the deepest place in the world.
“This really deep fish did not look like anything we had seen before, nor does it look like anything we know of. It is unbelievably fragile, with large wing-like fins and a head resembling a cartoon dog.” — Alan Jamieson, University of Aberdeen
“Knowing these creatures exist is one thing, but to watch them alive in their natural habitat and interacting with other species is truly amazing, we have learnt a great deal.” — Alan Jamieson, University of Aberdeen
The images were captured by the Hadal-Lander, an unmanned ocean probe equipped with bait, cameras, lights, and sensors for recording water conditions.