Australian scientists discover faceless fish in unexplored abyss

May 31, 2017 15:44 IST

A team of Australian scientists in May 2017 discovered a faceless fish and other weird and wonderful creatures in the deep waters of Australia during their scientific journey to the parts of the ocean never explored before.

The search area was the most unexplored environment on earth.

 

Australian scientists discover faceless fish

Findings
The scientists have been surveying the dark and cold abyss that was four kilometres (2.5 miles) below the surface through nets, sonar and deep-sea cameras.

They came across an unusual faceless fish, which has only been recorded once before by the pioneering scientific crew of HMS Challenger off Papua New Guinea in 1873. It hasn't got any eyes or a visible nose and its mouth is underneath.

Bright red spiky rock crabs, puffed-up coffin fish, blind sea spiders and deep sea eels were collected by the team during their voyage from Launceston in Tasmania north towards the Coral Sea.

The team was led by the chief scientist Tim O'Hara from Museums Victoria.

Another discovery was of carnivorous sponges that have lethal spicules made of silicon, effectively glass. They get small crustaceans hooked on their Velcro-like spines to be slowly digested in-situ. This technique differs from most deep-sea sponges which feed on bacteria.

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Comment
Life at such depths is one of crushing pressures, as there is no light, little food and freezing temperatures with animals evolving in unique ways to survive. As food is scarce in such depths, these animals spend their lives floating about and lie in wait until food comes to them.

At such huge depths, it is so dark that creatures often have no eyes or produce their own light through bioluminescence.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Faceless fish , deep sea creatures , Australia

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