Strange things are afoot 4.5 miles below the surface of the ocean, and for the first time we can see them in a new video.
This is the first look at the previously unexplored New Hebrides deep ocean trench between Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
When researchers have descended into other Pacific Rim deep sea trenches before, they usually find a pervasive skinny fish called a grenadier. Not so in the New Hebrides.
In this trench, scientists from Aberdeen’s Oceanlab and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research were startled to find rare cusk eels and red prawns. The grenadier was nowhere to be found, nor was the typically present pink snail fish, researchers told the BBC’s Rebecca Morelle.
Why the difference? Probably because the area’s waters are very unproductive. “It seems the cusk eels are specialists in very low food environments, whereas the grenadiers require a greater source of food,” Oceanlab’s Alan Jamieson told the BBC.
Here’s a short gif of the action on the ocean bottom, from the clip:
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