September 29, 2023 at 11:19 am

Scientists Have Recorded The Deepest Dwelling Fish Ever On Camera 27,000+ Feet Below The Surface

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Inside Edition/YouTube

I know space is supposed to be the next (or is it last?) frontier, but for my money, what lies deep, deep beneath the surface of the ocean is at least as mysterious – and creepy, to boot.

So whenever fish or other organisms from down there show their faces, it only makes sense that they would be mysterious and slightly creepy, too.

A team of scientists from Japan and Australia made the most recent discovery using a camera, some bait, and a deep-sea submersible. They snapped a photo of an unknown snailfish species from the genus Pseudoliparis at a whopping 27,349 feet below the surface.

Source: Inside Edition/YouTube

They were onboard the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop to explore three deep trenches in the Pacific ocean – the Ryukyu trench (23,950 feet), the Japan trench (26,246 feet), and the Izu-Ogasawara trench (30,511 feet) – in search of deep sea dwelling fish populations.

They caught this small snailfish in the latter, and the depth they pulled it from beat a previous record from a Mariana snailfish found in the Mariana trench.

The snailfish are called Pseudoliparis belyaevi.

“The Japanese trenches were incredible places to explore; they are so rich in life, even all the way to the bottom. We have spent over 15 years researching these deep snailfish; there is so much more to them than simply the depth, but the maximum depth they can survive is truly astonishing. In other trenches such as the Mariana Trench, we were finding them at increasingly deeper depths just creeping over that 8,000m [26,246 feet] mark in fewer and fewer numbers, but around Japan they are really quite abundant.”

Source: Inside Edition/YouTube

The specimen they caught was a small juvenile, and researchers find them at slightly greater depths than adult snailfish, typically.

“Because there’s nothing else beyond them, the shallow end of the range overlaps with a hunch of other deep-sea fish, so putting juveniles at that end probably means they’ll get eaten. When you get down to the mega deep depths, 8,000-plus meters or 26,246 feet, a lot of them are very, very small.”

Jamieson told the Guardian that they still believe it’s likely biologically impossible for fish to survive at any greater depths.

“The real take-home message for me, is not necessarily that they are living at 8,336m [26,246 feet], but rather that we have enough information on this environment to have predicted that these trenches would be where the deepest fish would be. In fact until this expedition, no one had ever seen nor collected a single fish from this entire trench.”

I know I’m not a scientist, but I have my doubts.

We really have no idea what’s down there – and we may never find out.