When movie director James Cameron dove to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean early last year, he and his team captured hours of video of strange new deep sea life. Last Friday, a researcher gave a peek into this bizarre new world, presenting preliminary findings based on analysis on reams of footage from the so-called Deepsea Challenge expedition.
One of the strangest new finds is a sea cucumber seen in the Challenger Deep, the deepest spot in the world's oceans at approximately 36,000 feet (11 kilometers) below the surface, said Natalya Gallo, a doctoral student and researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. This new sea cucumber is almost certainly a new species, and lives in large numbers at this deep spot, Gallo told OurAmazingPlanet.
The research has likely revealed a second previously unknown species, a type of squid worm, Gallo said. These wormy animals are several inches long and live in the mid-water, above the sea floor, she said. "When you first see it, it looks like a squid because it has all of these modified feeding appendages," she said. Until actual physical specimens are collected, however, the new species won't be able to be definitely recorded, she added.