Scientists at the University of Western Australia (UWA) have discovered several species of snailfish, certified by Guinness World Records to be the deepest fish in the ocean to have been observed in situ, the university said on Monday, April 3.
Footage shared by the university shows the unknown snailfish species of the genus Pseudoliparis at a depth of 8,336 meters in the Izu-Ogasawara trench, discovered during a dive on August 15, 2022.
Professor Alan Jamieson from the University of Western Australia worked with a team from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology to deploy baited cameras in the deepest parts of the trenches.
“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,” Jamieson said.
“In other trenches such as the Mariana Trench, we were finding them at increasingly deeper depths just creeping over that 8,000m mark in fewer and fewer numbers, but around Japan they are really quite abundant.”
“Until this expedition, no one had ever seen nor collected a single fish from this entire trench,” Jamieson added.
As part of the same research expedition, the teams also recovered two fish in traps from 8,022 meters deep.
The snailfish, Pseudoliparis belyaevi, were the first fish to be collected from depths greater than 8,000 meters, the UWA said, and have previously only ever been seen at a depth of 7,703 meters in 2008.
Credit: The University of Western Australia via Storyful