A novel discovery has emerged for those fascinated with the obscure secrets of the ocean’s enigmatic abyss. In a recent study, scientists captured images of the deepest-swimming fish ever recorded on camera. The unknown snailfish species, categorized under the genus Pseudoliparis, was seen moving around in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, which is estimated to be over 27,000 feet down, or in simpler terms, at a depth of 8,336 meters.
The findings of this research are more profound than just the fish’s depth. According to University of Western Australia professor Alan Jamieson, who has dedicated over 15 years to studying these deep snailfish, there is much more to uncover about them. Professor Jamieson said in a press release that “the maximum depth they can survive is truly astonishing.”
The latest feat was accomplished in August 2022 by teams from the Minderoo-UWA Deep Sea Research Centre and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. The mission spanned several trenches in Japan, as part of a ten-year investigation into the world’s deepest fish populations. Researchers released footage from baited cameras showcasing a handful of whitish-blue deep-sea fish swimming by. The juvenile fish, which holds the record for the deepest ever found, was one of them. During the same journey, the team collected two snailfish from traps in the Japan Trench at a depth of 8,022 meters, which they believe to be the only fish caught deeper than eight kilometers.
🌊 Scientists from #UWA and Japan have set a new record for the deepest fish ever filmed and caught! 🐟 They discovered a snailfish at a depth of 8,336m in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench and caught two more from 8,022m during a two-month expedition. @minderoo https://t.co/RjJ7CxD97d pic.twitter.com/kRdYJsI3yU
— UWA (@uwanews) April 3, 2023
The research team could not help but express their excitement about the experience of exploring the Japanese trenches. According to Jamieson, “the Japanese trenches were incredible places to explore; they are so rich in life, even all the way at the bottom.”
Prior to this new discovery, the record for the deepest fish was held by a Mariana snailfish (P. swirei) found in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, which Guinness World Records recorded at 26,831 feet on May 18, 2017.