Meet The World’s Deepest Recorded Fish That Inhabits Our Oceans

IFLSciencePublished: March 20, 2018Updated: April 4, 20186,655 plays$15.69 earned
Published: March 20, 2018Updated: April 4, 2018

The ocean’s deepest fish doesn’t look like it could survive in harsh conditions thousands of feet below the surface. Instead of giant teeth and a menacing frame, the fishes that roam in the deepest parts of the ocean are small, translucent, bereft of scales - and highly adept at living where few other organisms can.

Meet the deepest fish in the ocean, a new species named the Mariana snailfish. The Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei) thrives at depths of up to about 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the Mariana Trench near Guam. That’s 26 meters deeper than the previous record holder. In addition to snailfish, which are soft, small and have no scales, researchers also saw numerous amphipods, shrimp-like creatures that lack an outer shell. By studying life in the deepest part of the ocean, known as the hadal zone, scientists hope to better understand populations and food chains.

Snailfish are found at many different depths in marine waters around the world. In deep water, they cluster together in groups and feed on tiny crustaceans and shrimp using suction from their mouths to gulp prey. Little is known about how these fish can live under intense water pressure; the pressure at those depths is similar to an elephant standing on your thumb.

In a series of dives in 2014 and 2017, a small team of researchers from the U.S. and U.K. dropped special traps into the depths of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean in order to catch the elusive creature. This trench shoots through the ocean floor near Guam and is home to the deepest point in Earth's seas.

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