The deepest fish species ever collected has been recovered from the Marianas Trench. Thriving at 26,200 feet below sea level, the small, viscous and translucent fish have adapted in some way to one of the hardest places in the ocean.
Earlier this year, a Japanese team filmed the alleged snail fishery at 26,830 feet deep, but did not retrieve any sample.
In a series of dives in 2014 and 2017, a small team of researchers from EE. UU And the United Kingdom threw special traps into the depths of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean in order to trap the elusive creature. This trench threw the ocean floor near Guam and houses the deepest point of the Earth's seas.
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Taking up to four hours to get to the bottom of the trench, the scientists left the traps for up to 24 hours. The traps, equipped with specialized cameras, emerged with incredible images of the new species, called Mariana snailfish, as well as 37 other fish in the course of the study. Their results were published in the magazine Zootaxa .  A computerized tomography reveals that this snail Mariana ate a small crustacean for lunch. Adam Summers / University of Washington
The deepest fish ever recovered
"This is the deepest fish that has been collected from the bottom of the ocean, and we are very excited to have an official name," he said. principal author Mackenzie. Gerringer, postdoctoral researcher at the Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington, in a press release. "They do not look too strong or strong to live in such an extreme environment, but they have great success."
Located for the first time in 2014, researchers have been investigating the snail ever since. The small, slimy creatures have adapted to thrive under the intense pressure of the Mariana Trench. At its deepest point, more than 36,000 feet, the pressure is approximately 1,000 times the standard atmospheric water pressure. This would be like an elephant standing on your thumb.
Despite these harsh conditions, living at the bottom of the sea may have its benefits. "Here they are free of predators, and the funnel shape of the trench means there is much more food," explains study co-author Thomas Linley of the University of Newcastle. "There are many invertebrate prey and the snail is the main predator, they are active and they look very well fed."
Next generation 3D model of the new species
The scientists badyzed the fish samples using CT images from last generation, which allowed them to create a 3D model of the species. The researchers were able to confirm that the Mariana snail – or rather, Pseudoliparis swirei – as a new distinctive species.
As the technology of sea exploration improves, more and more sea floor creatures are brought to the surface. Last year, two new species of fish that glow in the dark were discovered in the "twilight zone" of the ocean, which lies between 1,300 and 3,000 feet below sea level.
"There are many surprises waiting," Gerringer said: "It's amazing to see what lives there, we consider it a hostile environment because it is extreme for us, but there is a whole group of organisms that are very happy there."