Deep in the heart of the Mariana Trench, scientists from the University of Aberdeen have set a record with their video footage of a fish swimming on the floor of the great undersea chasm, more than 5 miles down.
During a detailed study of the trench by the university's Oceanlab field research unit, scientists caught footage of a type of snailfish cruising the floor at a depth of 26,722 feet (8,145 meters). It's the greatest depth at which a fish has ever been seen, the team notes, topping its own prior record (also of a snailfish) by almost 500 meters.
The snailfish the team observed gave them pause. "This really deep fish did not look like anything we had seen before, nor does it look like anything we know of," said Dr. Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, in a statement. "It is unbelievably fragile, with large wing-like fins and a head resembling a cartoon dog."