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Translucent fish without scales discovered deep in the Pacific Ocean

14 September 2018

Apart from snagging exclusive video of the three new snailfish species, the team also managed to capture "astonishingly rare footage" of a type of crustacean known as the long-legged isopod.

A community of 40 scientists from 17 totally different countries teamed up to search the freezing, pitch-dim residing, the utilization of cameras and other equipment.

One of three new species of snailfish recently discovered in the Atacama Trench.

Among the creatures found there, the scientists discovered the three new species of fish, which are actually new species of snailfish.

Scientists acknowledged that the snailfish, with no giant teeth or "menacing frame", doesn't fit with "the preconceived stereotypical image of what a deep-sea fish should look like".

Dr. Thomas Linley, who works at Newcastle University, said it was clear snailfish are among the top predators in the deep depths of the ocean.

Snailfish live nearly 8,000 meters deep and their bodies are so fragile that they melt when they are caught.

"As the video clearly shows, on the seabed, there are many invertebrate prey and the snailfish are the main predators; They seem to be quite active and they look very well fed, "says Thomas Linley". The researchers were able to catch one of the new species, which followed its prey into one of their traps. In addition to being "surprisingly active" as Linley put it, the snailfish are just plain weird, bereft of scales with beady little eyes and gelatinous bodies held together by the enormous pressure of the water.

"Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure, and in fact, the hardest structures in their bodies are their teeth and the bones in their inner ear which give them balance".

Part of the Liparidae family, these snailfish look distinct from other deep sea creatures, albeit they're no less odd. But without the pressures of the deep sea to support them, their fragile, boneless bodies melt when they crest the surface of the sea.

The specimen was in very good condition and is now being described by the Newcastle group, with help of colleagues from the USA and London's Natural History Museum.

The trench is almost 6000km long and more than 8km deep, running along the west coast of South America.

On a recent expedition, the team deployed their baited camera system, which takes up to four hours to sink to the bottom of the ocean floor, a total of 27 times. Then - using paddles on their sides - they propel themselves to do a flip and land on the bottom of the ocean with their long legs spread out like a spider.

The research will be discussed at the 2018 Challenger Conference which kicks off at the university this week.

Translucent fish without scales discovered deep in the Pacific Ocean