Scientists caught the deepest-dwelling fish in the ocean on camera over 5 miles below the surface -- take a look

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Gulf of Mexico 2017.The scientists used an unmanned submersible to record the elusive snailfish.
  • A team of Japanese scientists filmed a snailfish at more than 26,800 feet below the surface.
  • It’s the deepest a fish has ever been caught on camera.
  • The snailfish is thought to be able to withstand extreme pressures at that depth that make it impossible for most vertebrates to survive.

A team of Japanese scientists set a record by catching the deepest-dwelling fish on camera 26,830 feet below the ocean surface.

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology filmed a snailfish in late August in the Marianas Trench, the deepest zone of the Pacific Ocean. To catch the creature on camera, the scientists placed a series of high-resolution cameras on an unmanned submersible.

Using mackerel as bait, the team caught an underwater feeding frenzy at a depth of 7,498 meters, or just under 25,000 feet, with giant amphipods – a type of deep-sea crustacean – as well as a group of snailfish swarming the mackerel.

A few hours after lowering the submersible even more, to t0 8,178 meters, or 26,830 feet, the team filmed a lonely snailfish that came to poke around the remains of the mackerel.

“We’ve set a world record for filming a fish at an accurately measured depth,” Oguri Kazumasa, a senior scientist at the agency, told the Japanese news outlet Jiji Press.

He added: “We hope we can shed more light on the deep-sea ecology and the depth limit for fish to inhabit.”

The snailfish species they filmed, identified as a Mariana snailfish, had been unknown to scientists before a team filmed one in 2014, according to National Geographic.

Snailfish occupy the deepest part of the water column, known as the hadal zone, where no light penetrates – it’s always pitch black.

The ghostly-white species is thought to have evolved to withstand extreme pressures equivalent to the weight of 1,600 elephants, National Geographic reports.

Check out the video:

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