Tags: worlds | deepest | fish | mariana trench

World's Deepest Fish: Snailfish Sets Record at 27K Feet Below the Pacific

By    |   Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:09 PM

The record for the world's deepest fish now belongs to a snailfish-type animal found near the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, at about 26,722 feet.

The fish was discovered during a recent international expedition that explored the Mariana Trench, according to the Daily Mail. The discovery of the fish at that depth easily broke the old record for world's deepest fish by 1,640 feet.

Led by the Hadal Ecosystem Studies (Hades) team, the expedition deployed unmanned landers to depths that ranged between 16,000 and 35,000 feet, according to BBC News. Researchers examined the steep walls of the underwater canyon.

"Many studies have rushed to the bottom of the trench, but from an ecological view that is very limiting," Jeff Drazen, co-chief scientist from the University of Hawaii, told BBC News. "It's like trying to understand a mountain ecosystem by only looking at its summit."

University of Aberdeen's Hadal Lander, the United Kingdom's deepest unmanned diving vehicle, found the fish while recording more than 100 hours of deep-sea footage. A school of 17 of the snailfish was found, establishing the new record.

"After we found these, we started seeing them in other deep trenches," Alan Jamieson, from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen, told BBC News. "Each trench has its own snailfish species. And we saw one in the Mariana Trench at more than 8,000 meters, and we think it's a new species."

The Mariana Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean just east of the Mariana Islands near Japan. The trench is the deepest part of the Pacific and possibly the deepest location on earth.

The deepest part of the trench is called the Challenger Deep, named after the exploratory vessel HMS Challenger II. The Challenger II was a fishing boat turned into a sea lab by Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard.

Despite its depth, past research teams have found more than 200 different microorganisms in mud samples from the Challenger Deep, according to MarianaTrench.com.

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The record for the world's deepest fish now belongs to a snailfish-type animal found near the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, at about 26,722 feet.
worlds, deepest, fish, mariana trench
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2014-09-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:09 PM
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