The Atacama Trench is one of the deepest points in the Pacific Trench and a team of enthusiastic scientist has recently run an experiment with an unexpected result. A device know as a deep-sea lander was submersed several times into its dark waters.
The lander is highly sophisticated device, featuring advanced cameras and a trap module that aim to attract creatures. It took as long as five hours for the lander to reach the bottom of the ocean, which is deeper than five miles at certain points. The spectacular images that it captured were worth the wait.
The researchers obtained first-time videos in which three species of the elusive snailfish appeared. The creatures live at approximately 64000 m below the surface. They have distinctive features, as their bodies seem to be long and gelatinous. Their skin is also almost translucent and the movements have an elegant grace. The fish were attracted by the bait and their size was significantly bigger in comparison to other fishes that were observed previously.
The videos reinforce the fact that there is a sprawling marine ecosystem even in places that are miles below the surface of the Earth. The snailfish seems to be the apex predator, as the study notes that they look healthy and well-developed. The snailfishes also lack the usual scales, and the hardest part of their body is represented by sharp teeth.
According to researchers, the gelatinous body allows them to survive the extreme pressure that is usually encountered at such depths. Should they be brought to the surface, they would immediately melt since cold water also helps them to remain intact.
Researchers managed to capture one specimen that followed the lander as it returned to the surface. The specimen is in a good shape and a team of scientists is currently observing it.
While they do not fit the classic image of a deep-sea creature, they are an interesting example of evolution and adaptation to even the harshest environments.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.