Snailfish Breaks World Record

Snailfish Breaks World Record

Emily Lee

In a decade-long study of the deepest fish populations, scientists from the University of Western Australia and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology discovered a young snailfish cruising into the abyss of the northern Pacific Ocean. At a depth of 8,336 meters (over 27,000 feet), the snailfish has now become the deepest fish ever recorded. With this snailfish breaking such a large record, there are many factors to consider: what a snailfish is, how the team gathered the footage, and the opinions of the professionals. 

The fish that was found by the team of researchers is known as a snailfish. Snailfish are gelatinous, translucent, and tadpole-shaped fish with scaleless skin and small eyes. They possess high concentrations of organic molecules that prevent them from being crushed under extremely high pressure, which explains why they were found so deep in the ocean. Other characteristics of snailfish are that they eat plankton, krill, crustaceans, and other small sea creatures.

In order to collect the footage of the snailfish, BBC News’s Jonathan Amos reveals that the researchers utilized an autonomous camera system that was placed over the side of a ship. The team attached bait to the cameras to entice the fish to swim nearby. With this video, scientists were able to expand their knowledge of the snailfish and sea animals that live in extreme depths.

With such a groundbreaking discovery, the researchers share many emotions and thoughts. Alan Jamieson, who is a marine biologist and a leader of this expedition, explained, “What is significant is that it shows how far a particular type of fish will descend into the ocean.” However, the number one setback in these types of journeys is money. Jamieson admits, “The challenges are that technology has been expensive and scientists don’t have a lot of money.” Despite money limiting scientific exploration, it is evident that there are endless things to be uncovered in the depths of our oceans.