Newly discovered deep sea fish that dissolves on the surface
An exploration team headed by the Newcastle University discovered three new species of snailfish, a very elusive creature living 7,500 metres below the surface. This new finding was made out on the waters of one of the deepest places on earth, the Atacama Trench.
The snailfish looks like an antithesis of what you’d normally expect to see from a deep sea creature, instead of giant bodies, deadly teeth and a menacing appearance, these little guys, temporarily named ‘the pink, the blue and the purple Atacama Snailfish’ are quite small, translucent and have a very gelatinous consistency, despite this however, the snailfish are the top predator of their habitat, due to the lack of competitors, or predators that could topple them in the food chain.
While their soft structure makes them very resistant to the extreme pressure from the depths of the sea,it comes with a weakness, their consistency causes them to literally melt if brought to the surface unless a very careful conservation process is followed.
Dr Thomas Linley, from Newcastle University, said “As the footage clearly shows, 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”.
“Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure and in fact the hardest structures in their bodies are the bones in their inner ear which give them balance and their teeth. Without the extreme pressure and cold to support their bodies they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly when brought to the surface.”
The expedition team managed to capture an specimen and bring it back to the surface, currently being described by the Newcastle team with the help of colleagues from the United States and the Natural History Museum, London and is currently being featured as part of the Challenger Conference 2018 which started last Monday at the Newcastle University and will end this Friday.