Several new species of fish found at record ocean depths of more than 5 miles
By RYAN GORMAN
A scientific expedition dove to a world-record depth of more than five miles in the Pacific Ocean and discovered more than a dozen new species of fish.
A team led by students from the University of Hawaii found the new species of fish at a depth of 8,143 meters (5.05 miles) while en route to hitting an all-time record of 34,777 feet (6.5 miles).
A total of five deep-sea vehicles were stationed in the Mariana Trench at depths ranging from 16,404 to 34,777 feet (5,000 to 10,600 meters) the Hadal Ecosystem Studies team told KHON.
"Many studies have rushed to the bottom of the trench, but from an ecological view that is very limiting. It's like trying to understand a mountain ecosystem by only looking at its summit," said co-chief scientist Jeff Drazen.
The group's goal was to determine how organisms are able to adapt to living in the extreme conditions found at such depths.
A total of 18 new species of fish were discovered, including a previously unknown variety of snailfish.
The white translucent creature, shown in the video above, has broad fins, a tail like an eel and lived just above the ocean floor.
The record depth of 8,143 meters (26,715 feet) where the snailfish was found is nearly as deep as the world's eighth-largest mountain, Cho Oyu, in the Himalayas, is tall.
The Mariana Trench is the deepest known point in the world's oceans. One measurement has estimated it as deep as 10,994 meters – about 2,000 meters deeper than the height of Mount Everest's peak.