Close up of a dead snail fish--its deeper-living relatives were caught on camera
A species of snail fish--the deepest living fish in the world--have been captured on camera in the southern hemisphere for the first time. These strange, pink-bodied fish were photographed at a stunning depth of 24,800 feet in the Kermadec Trench off the coast of New Zealand. See photos and video of the bizarre deep sea fish in action after the jump.
These snail fish were found to be remarkably similar to those discovered in the Japan trench in the northern hemisphere--but it was determined that they were indeed a different species. Though you could be forgiven for failing to see the difference: both are vaguely translucent, a pale color of pink, and worm-like.
Photo via the BBC
According to the BBC, the international research team Hadeep is responsible for discovering each of species. In a specially designed submersible, one that can withstand enormous pressures, they descended into the deepest parts of the ocean: the marine trenches. And that's exactly where they photographed these odd denizens of the southern hemisphere, the Notoliparis kermadecensis.
To get the pictures, the team lured the snail fish out of their homes in the trenches with rotting fish--they feed on the tiny shrimp-like creatures that eat the remains.
Here's a video of the species found in the Japan trench--the deepest living fish ever captured on video. This footage was filmed 5 miles below the surface (the video set a record for footage taken at lowest depths):
Yup, they're ugly all right. But when you live miles and miles below the sea, in complete darkness, looks wouldn't be too important to you either.