Humans have only explored one-fifth of the ocean, which explains why we are constantly finding new species. From sharks to whales to snails, there are so many creatures that we have yet to uncover. Well, scientists can now mark one of those fish off of their list. When exploring the Atacama trench, a large group of researchers came across one saltwater resident unlike any other.
A New Discovery
When that team traveled to the Atacama trench, they never knew they would be attending the 2018 Challenger Conference with a new discovery. Researchers used a common tactic to attract fish to the camera that accidentally discovered the new species.
They simply attached bait to it and let it sink into the trench. The fish did the rest. At 26,000 feet, a few ghostlike figures approached the camera. They resembled fish but seemed to be free from any bone structure. The scientists were baffled.
A Sucky Little Fish
What would later be called the Atacama snailfish was discovered that day. The temporary name is attributed to the discovery location and how the fish eats. Since it sucks its food, it is classified as a species of snailfish.
In fact, its closest cousin is the Marianas snailfish, which is the deepest dwelling fish that scientists have discovered. However, the Atamaca snailfish has other characteristics that make it unique.
A Squishy, Wet Mess
The strongest part of the fish’s body is its inner ear bones. They provide the fish with a balancing mechanism. Its teeth are the second hardest part of its body. Other than that, it seems to be comprised of mostly mush.
Because of this, it simply becomes a squishy, wet mess when removed from the water. This is due to the lack of ocean current, which is responsible for carrying the little fish’s body, on land. Without it, the Atacama snailfish simply flops. Isn’t it adorable in a weird kind of way?