In the waters of Atacama Trench, one of the deepest parts of the ocean, the scientists spotted three new mysterious, “alien-looking” species of fish swimming undisturbed in the pitch-black waters. They look so weird that everyone who has ever watched the movie “Abyss” can make a connection between the recently discovered fish species and the extraterrestrial creatures in the movie.
However, the recent findings are no Sci-Fi, even though the scientists are still baffled about how these marine creatures adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of the deepest trenches of the Pacific Ocean.
Despite the cold temperatures and the immense pressures the water exert at a depth of more than 7,500 meters, the Atacama Trench houses a whole bunch of aquatic animals which seem perfectly adapted to the living conditions there.
Among the creatures found there, the scientists discovered the three new species of fish, which are actually new species of snailfish.
Three new “alien-looking” species of fish discovered in the Atacama Trench, one of the deepest areas of the Pacific Ocean
The new specimens present soft and translucent bodies that are perfectly adapted to the extreme living conditions of those depths that exceed 7,500 meters down below the ocean’s surface. The three new species of snailfish proliferated significantly in that area because they can live unthreatened by predators as it happens in shallow waters.
“There are lots of invertebrate prey down there, and the snailfish are the top predator, they seem to be quite active and look very well-fed,” said Dr. Thomas Linley from the Newcastle University, one of the participants in this discovery.
“Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure, and in fact, the hardest structures in their bodies are their teeth and the bones in their inner ear which give them balance. Without the extreme pressure and cold to support their bodies they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly when brought to the surface,” Dr. Linley added.
Besides these three new “alien-looking” species of fish, the researchers also captured on video a rare species of long-legged crustaceans, the so-called munnopsids.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.