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Scientists take pictures of fish at the deepest point ever |  world and science

Scientists take pictures of fish at the deepest point ever | world and science

Scientists take pictures of fish as deep as they can ever be seenUniversity of Western Australia

Posted on 3/4/2023 5:20 PM

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Scientists have captured pictures of a snailfish, 8,336 meters below the sea floor, in the abyss of the North Pacific Ocean. The video of the tiny animal is believed to be the deepest sounding scientists have ever photographed.

The images were taken by the University of Western Australia and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, and released last Sunday (02). It was recorded in September by marine robots in deep trenches off Japan.

In addition to the deepest snailfish ever seen, the group managed to actually catch two more specimens at a depth of 8,022 metres, setting the record for the deepest catch ever made. Previously, they were unable to collect fish at depths of more than 8,000 metres.

For marine biologist and expedition leader Alan Jamieson, founder of the Mindero-Owa Deep Sea Research Center, “what’s important is that it shows how far a particular species of fish descends into the ocean.”

Studies have been going on in the trenches of Japan for about 10 years, and aim to analyze the world’s deepest fish populations. The fish in question captured in the footage is part of the Liparidae family and is an organism that can survive both in shallow areas and at great depths, according to Jamieson.

The research with the robots lasted two months last year, and involved three “landings,” which are automated marine robots with high-resolution cameras. They were dropped at three locations – in the trenches of Japan, Izu-Ogasawara, and Ryukyu.

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The image seen in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench shows a snailfish hovering calmly alongside a crustacean in a deep part. The scientist classifies the animal as a small fish, and explains that the species, when younger, tend to stay deeper to avoid predators.

In another video, filmed between 7,500 and 8,200 metres, a colony of fish and crustaceans could be seen eating the bait attached to the robot. These images are a rare glimpse into the unique traits that enable species to survive in inhospitable environments.

Certain characteristics, such as small eyes, a translucent body, and the lack of a swim bladder, are what help the species survive in this environment, Jamieson says.

According to the scientist, the Pacific Ocean is particularly suitable for such species to live, mainly because of the warm southern current, which encourages these marine creatures to migrate to the bottom, where it serves as food for animals that originally lived in the depths.

It is scientists’ desire to understand more about these creatures that live in very deep places. However, budget constraints are an issue. Jamieson says each lander costs $200,000 to assemble and operate. “The challenges were that the technology was very expensive and the scientists didn’t have a lot of money.”

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