This incredibly resilient fish has set a new depth record for any fish species, having been photographed on the sea floor of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, at 8143 metres (26,700ft) below the surface.
The snailfish was spotted during a 30 day expedition to the deepest place on earth using remote units carrying camera. The study conducted by an international team of marine biologists, geologists, microbiologists and geneticists was led by Jeff Drazen and Patty Fryer of the University of Hawaii, who say that it has a different body shape from other known varieties of snailfish; broad, translucent fins, stringy appendages and an eel-like tail that allows it to glide smoothly. The team also discovered several new species, and filmed the first known footage of a living “supergiant” amphipod ( see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/video-shows-snailfish-swimming-deeper-than-any-other-creature-at-8000m-beneath-pacific-9937291.html )
Snailfish are known to thrive at extreme depths: another variety, known as Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis, previously held the undisputed record for deepest-living fish at 7703 metres. Handling the intense pressure of the deep sea is a challenge for most animals because it impedes muscles and nerves and bends proteins out of shape, disrupting the working of enzymes required for life.