A team of scientists is currently investigating what they are calling “the most unexplored environment” here on Earth. Namely, they are carrying out a month-long expedition targeting the deep sea waters of Australia. In a conference held this week, they revealed some of their discoveries, which include a faceless fish and much more.
The Faceless Fish is Newly Spotted but Previously Recorded
The mission team is traveling aboard “The Investigator” along the eastern seaboard of Australia. This left Launceston in Tasmania on May 15 and headed north, towards the Coral Sea.
Since its commence, the researchers have been looking at the species living their lives 2.5 miles deep within the cold and dark oceanic waters. To do so, they have been using deep-sea cameras, sonars, and nets.
Thanks to them, the team was able to detect various creatures, ranging, according to reports, from the beautiful to the bizarre. One example belonging to the latter is a faceless fish. However, this is not the first sighting of such a strange fish.
Granted, it was reported only once before, back in 1873. At the time, it was spotted by the pioneering crew of the HMS Challenger somewhere off Papua New Guinea. Tim O’Hara, the new mission’s chief scientist, offered some details about this latest sighting.
“It [the faceless fish] hasn’t got any eyes or a visible nose and its mouth is underneath,” stated O’Hara, who is aboard the ship.
He then added that, because of the huge depths in which it lives, its lack of eyes is quite to be expected. O’Hara points out that the lack of light forces such species to produce their own light. Mostly, this happens thanks to bioluminescence.
Besides this still unusual fish, the team also observed puffed-up coinfish, deep sea eels, bright red spiky rock crabs, and blind sea spiders, to name only a few.
O’Hara said that this newly collected data will help improve science’s understanding and view of the Australian deep-sea habitats. It will also contribute to discovering its biodiversity and the processes sustaining it.
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