It's not easy to survive tens of thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, but scientists have just discovered three new types of fish who seem to be doing just that.
An international team of researchers recently dug into the Atacama Trench, a Pacific trench off the coast of Peru and Chile that can get as deep as 26,460 feet — the equivalent of nearly 5 miles — making it one of the ocean's deepest known spots.
Thriving down there isn't easy. Any form of life must be able to withstand extreme cold, pressure and darkness.
It's also not easy for scientists to get there in the first place. For this expedition, the team had to use an advanced lander system equipped with HD cameras and traps.Giphy
Those traps helped capture crustaceans that we already knew existed, but they also helped snag three new types of snailfish that had adapted quite well to life in the deep sea.Giphy
The scientists realized the snailfish were one of the bigger species down there, meaning they didn't really have to worry about being gobbled up by predators, and didn't have a hard time conquering prey of their own.
Plus, like many fish that live so far below, they have a translucent, gelatinous structure that helps protect them against the extreme pressure.
Gif via YouTube
When they're swimming around in their natural habitat, they appear to look like a regular scaled fish. But when brought up to the surface, they start to resemble the shape of the infamous blobfish.
As of now, the new fishes don't have their scientific names. They're just being referred to by their colors — pink, blue and purple — but are expected to get new ones once their discovery is announced in academic journals.
Scientists are looking forward to further studying the samples they collected to learn more about them, and continuing to dive deeper to find more of the unknown in our oceans.