There is an area off the coast of Eastern Australia commonly known as The Abyss. It is located some 4000 metres below the surface of the water and until recently has remained unexplored. A team of 40 scientists have now studied the area revealing many of its secrets.
The project was called Sampling the Abyss and was a month-long endeavour. The team consisted of researchers and scientists from museums such as Victoria and CSIRO. It was a real journey of discovery for the team who were effectively navigating unchartered territory and their adventure’s uncovered a plethora of new and often terrifying sea creatures.
Here’s the thing about this area the conditions there are not what you’d call ideal for life. The mere pressure alone is a problem for many life forms. That’s not to mention the temperature, lack of light and the lack of food sources. So it’s a surprise then that scientists have found such levels of biodiversity with many species adapting to the unique environment.
It looks like something from a horror movie with its sharp teeth and its hollow green eyes. Its jaws are designed to lock harder the more prey struggles and to not let go. They are a terrifying fish and they get big too.
To be fair I think if I was named after a coffin I’d probably have a grumpy look on my face as well. The tubby little red thing is so ugly that it almost goes full circle and becomes cute again…but not quite! Don’t let its cute features deceive you though. This is a ferocious predator. It is in the same family as the Angler Fish (you know the one with the sharp teeth in Finding Nemo) and like its relative, it uses a rod on top of its head to attract its prey. Like a pufferfish, they can also inflate their body.
The Blind Cusk Eel
It sort of resembles the face huggers from the alien movies! Its skin is jelly-like, it has scales and it is completely blind. Its nose and mouth are very obscure and designed to just let small particles of food in, it also lacks a swim bladder. It’s like somebody stripped the parts of a fish and this is what was left.
Not all brittle starfish fell out the ugly tree. Check out these, they are found all across the globe from up in the freezing waters of Siberia right down to seas of Antarctica, but we still don’t know a great deal about them.
If there any arachnophobia sufferers reading this you might want just to scroll down a little bit! The sea version of spiders are just as creepy as their land-based brethren. It uses its spindly legs to float on currents meaning very little effort is needed for it to move. Once again this animal wouldn’t be amiss in an alien movie! I mean just look at it, it certainly doesn’t seem like something from our planet, does it?
Of course, this isn’t the first specimen of this fish. One was collected in the Tasman Sea in 2003 and became an internet meme. It was also voted the worlds ugliest fish in 2013. Is that an annual contest?
These worms are so named due to the fact they feed off flesh. They often feed off dead whale carcasses. They burrow down into their bones to get at the sustenance within. Oddly they have a complex digestive system as they don’t have a butt hole. Instead, they rely on bacteria to digest stuff for them. Weird.