New Snailfish Species Found in Deep Pacific Ocean

The fish — temporarily named the pink blue and purple Atacama snailfish — were found in the Atacama Trench by Newcastle University researchers

What researchers captured on camera were three new species of the "elusive" snailfish, living more than 21,000 feet beneath the surface, according to Newcastle University, which announced the findings Monday.

A massive global team consisting of 40 scientists launched an expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth. Now the group has announced at this week's Challenger Conference for Marine Science that they also discovered two additional species of snailfish, called for now the pink and purple snailfishes.

Almost 25,000 feet below the surface, the Newcastle University expedition captured footage of three new species of snailfish, which have been temporarily named the pink, blue, and purple Atacama snailfish.

Part of the Liparidae family, the fish are unusual in appearance compared to the typical idea of a deep-sea fish.

But although they lack giant teeth and a menacing frame they are highly adept at living where few other organisms can. "Beyond the reach of other fish, they are free of competitors and predators", said Dr. Thomas Linley, a research associate at Newcastle University who participated in the expedition alongside 39 other scientists.

If you raise fish to the surface, they will overheat and melt, the researchers note.

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This releases weights and the lander rises to the surface with the help of flotation - enabling the team to catch specimens and take video footage of life at the bottom of the ocean. The only real option for now is to observe them where they are or to study non-living specimens, which makes the rare footage captured by the Newcastle team very important. But closer to the surface, without that support, "they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly", said one of the researchers, Thomas Linley.

Newcastle scientists and engineers worked for five years developing technology for the exploration of ultra-deep environments, like the Atacama Trench, which runs almost 3,700 miles along the west coast of South America.

"Their gelatinous construction scheme they're perfectly adapted to residing at extreme tension and if reality be told the toughest structures in their bodies are the bones in their inner ear which offer them steadiness and their enamel". The Atacama runs along the west coast of South America.

The bait attracts whatever life forms inhabit the region, and the cameras capture images-in this case more than 100 hours of video and 11,468 still photos. These creatures belong to an unidentified species of the Munnopsidae family and grow to be the size of an adult human hand. To crawl across the sea floor, long-legged isopods start off by swimming backwards and upside-down.

Munnopsids propel themselves through the water with small fins on their stomachs, but when near the sea bottom, the creatures flip over and walk on their legs.

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