14th Jan 2022
Three new species of fish have been discovered living in the deepest (and darkest) parts of the world’s oceans. The British led research team from Newcastle University discovered the weird fish in the Atacama Trench at a depth of over 7500 metres (24606 ft). Despite freezing cold waters at these depths the scientists were surprised to find the trench teeming with life. The amazing video below shows these beautiful fish and other strange species thriving in their usually pitch black environment.
The new species were types of snailfish that are apparently able to thrive due to the lack of competitors and predators living at such extreme depths and pressures, while there is still an abundance of invertebrate species for the snailfish to prey on.
Nicknamed by the team as the ‘pink blue and purple snailfish’ these bizarre hitherto unknown species possess a gelatinous structure that means they are perfectly adapted to cope with the extreme pressures, with really the only hard structures in their bodies being their teeth and the bones in the inner ear by which they use to balance and manoeuvre at such depth. They were discovered only after painstakingly analysing over 100 hours of video and nearly 12000 photos shot by the team.
They also managed to shoot rare footage of some long-legged crustaceans known as munnopsids (also visible in the video), and the team are to present their findings at the upcoming Challenger Conference to be held at Newcastle University.