We’ve never seen footage like this before: Scientists film the fish 8,336 meters underwater

Scientists from the University of Western Australia and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology on Sunday published images of snail fish captured by marine robots last September in deep-sea trenches off Japan.

In addition to the video recordings, the scientists captured two snailfish specimens at a depth of 8,022 metres, setting a new record for the deepest catch.

The previous fish photographed in the deepest waters to date was also a snail, which was observed in 2008 at 7,703 metres. Scientists filmed in marine trenches off Japan as part of a 10-year study of the world’s deepest fish populations.

While most snailfish live in shallow waters, others live at the deepest depths ever recorded

– said Alan Jamieson, campaign leader.

During last year’s two-month survey, three “landing craft”—automated marine robots equipped with high-resolution cameras—were lowered into three offshore trenches at different depths.

Pictures of the two caught fish provide a rare glimpse into the unique properties that help deep-sea species survive in extreme environments. Their eyes are small, their bodies are transparent, and the advantage of not having a swim bladder helps other fish float, Jamison said.

Scientists want to know more about life at great depths, Jamison said, but the cost is limited, adding that each lander costs $200,000 to assemble and operate.

“The challenge is that the technology is very expensive and scientists don’t have a lot of money,” he said.

Cover image is illustrative. Source: Getty Images

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