New Delhi : Scientists during the latest trip to Atacama Trench, one of the deepest points in the Pacific Ocean, discovered three new species of the "elusive" snailfish, living more than 21,000 feet beneath the surface. The team has repeatedly lowered a device called a deep-sea lander overboard and watched as it sank into the cold, dark waters. Suddenly, the camera began recording footage of live three new species of the snailfish.
On the recorded video, the newly discovered snailfish appeared to be long and gelatinous, with translucent skin and an ethereal movement, as they fed on bait lowered with the trap. The fish also seemed far larger than other organisms captured on camera near the bait.
The new species have temporarily been named the pink, blue and purple Atacama snailfish, part of the Liparidae family, scientists said. And they're doing all right for themselves.
"As the footage clearly shows, there are lots of invertebrate preys down there, and the snailfish are the top predator," said Thomas Linley, a postdoctoral research associate at Newcastle University and one of the lead researchers on the expedition. "They seem to be quite active and look very well-fed."
The fish have no scales, and the hardest parts of their bodies are their teeth and the bones in their inner ear, which give them balance, he added. These features help them live in the deepest reaches of the ocean.
"Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure," Linley said. "Without the extreme pressure and cold to support their bodies, they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly when brought to the surface."