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

The scientists used an unmanned submersible to record the elusive snailfish.

The scientists used an unmanned submersible to record the elusive snailfish.
Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Gulf of Mexico 2017.

  • 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: