Researchers have discovered a new species of snailfish living in the depths of the Mariana Trench, at more than 8,000 meters. The scientists captured the strange-looking creature on video swimming undisturbed among other deep-water creatures.
The scientists who discovered the snail fish are Patty Dryer and Jeff Drazen from the University of Hawaii. They said the new fish in the Mariana Trench is actually a new species of snail fish. They added that snailfish are known to live and thrive at extreme depths. For example, the Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis, is a snailfish species that previously held the record as the deepest-living fish. The record was of 7,703 meters deep in the water.
The scientists said that the most challenging aspect for creatures living at such extreme a depth is handling the intense pressure of the water. The pressure impedes the muscles and nerves and modifies the proteins out of their normal shape. This process disrupts the working enzymes that are required for living.
But the new fish in the Mariana Trench, which was spotted at a depth of more than 8,000 meters does not resemble any other snailfish species that live under deep waters. The researchers said the fish is not something they’ve seen before.
Dryer and Drazen said the new fish in the Mariana Trench could be a new species of snailfish, a very weird-looking one. The sea creature looks very fragile and seems to carry a paper floating from its tail. The researchers added that the snailfish living in the depths of the Mariana Trench has a dog-like snout.
The scientists explained how the deep-sea creatures can survive the crushing depths, saying that these types of fish have a higher level of a chemical known as trimethylamine oxide. This compound helps proteins maintain their normal shape as the water pressure intensifies. Normally, fish cannot hold enough of the trimethylamine oxide in their cells and live under such great depths, so the recently discovered fish is a new record-holder.
The footage of the new fish in the Mariana Trench adds to the numerous footages of never-before-seen sea creatures, like the gigantic amphipod discovered in New Zealand in 2012.
Image Source: nbcnews