World Media

South Pacific Trench SHOCK discovery: Ghostly ‘SNAILFISH’ discovered 5 miles below surface

South Pacific Trench SHOCK discovery: Ghostly ‘SNAILFISH’ discovered 5 miles below surface

"There is something about the snailfish (fish of the family Liparidae) that allows them to adapt to living very deep", said Dr. Thomas Linley, one of the scientists who worked on the project, from the University of Newcastle.

On the study of the Peruvian-Chilean trench, a team of 40 researchers from 17 countries.

During the expedition the team discovered some interesting species of snailfish, three to be more precise.

Almost 25,000 feet below the surface, the Newcastle University expedition captured footage of three new species of snailfish, which have been temporarily named the pink, blue, and purple Atacama snailfish.

"These fish are part of the Liparidae family and do not conform to the preconceived stereotypical image of what a deep-sea fish should look like", said a representative from England's Newcastle University, which participated in the expedition, in a statement on Monday.

Creatures live at a depth of eight kilometers.

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Footage captured by the Newcastle University team of the feeding habits of deep sea fish in the Atacama Trench, Pacific Ocean. The pink, blue, and purple fishes are small and translucent with no scales on their body. So, the hardest objects in the snailfishes' bodies are their teeth and the bones in their inner ears, and the creatures have only minimal structural body parts. But closer to the surface, without that support, "they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly", said one of the researchers, Thomas Linley. Scientists filmed the fish in their natural environment as part of an worldwide expedition to remotely explore the Atacama Trench, off the coast of Peru, and the discovery will be presented at the ongoing Challenger Conference at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.

With these tools, they were able to find three interesting creatures, which they believe are types of snailfish, about 5 miles deep.

They created what they call a "lander", a device which can drop to the extreme depths of the deepest ocean trenches and take high-definition video and still pictures, and also capture sea life with baited traps.

The lander - essentially a high-tech trap outfitted with bait, monitors and underwater cameras - would take four hours to fall all the way to the bottom of the ocean, almost five miles deep in some areas of the trench, off the coast of Peru and Chile. Researchers were able to collect more than 100 hours of video and 11,468 photographs in the trip.

These crustaceans have small bodies, extraordinarily long legs and swim backwards and upsides down. Fascinatingly, as Linley pointed out, the Atacama snailfish seem to be the top predators of this part of the world.


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