researchers have just discovered terrifying new species of fish

In October 2022, a team of researchers from the Museum Victoria Research Institute conducted groundbreaking research in the Indian Ocean. They explored the remote Cocos Islands off the coast of Australia. Their discoveries have unearthed unknown and fantastic marine species.

Unpublished research

If the oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, are still little known in the eyes of the scientific population. Currently only 10% of marine fauna and flora have been identified. And we don’t even know the total cartography of this submerged surface. The abyssal depths are still largely unexplored and contain impressive and eerie creatures.

Recently, a group of researchers from the Museum Victoria Research Institute decided to conduct a study around the Cocos Islands, off the coast of Australia. An unprecedented expedition to the seabed of two new Australian parks, al discovery of spooky animals.

An amazing journey

There are still huge gaps when it comes to the biodiversity of the Australian Indian Ocean. There are many unknown marine species that have evolved locally and which result from the synthesis between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. You should know that around the Cocos Islands there are seamounts that date back to the Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago.

After a 35-day expedition, the Museum Victoria Research Institute team performed a mapping 11,000 km, thanks to the Investigator ship. On 3 November, the scientific team presented its report. In particular, they identified hitherto unknown fish. Dianne Bray, director of collections at Museum Victoria, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the fish discovered have great capacities.

They are capable of bioluminescence to attract prey, while hiding or camouflaging themselves in the depths of the sea. They often have oversized sensory organs, as well as large mouths with creepy teeth to make any meal worthwhile.

Among these surprising discoveries we can mention two eels. The first is blind and was collected at a depth of about 5 km. It is covered with a transparent, gelatinous skin. The second is called the bizarre pelican eel. She has a small head and huge jaws. He is covered in velvety black skin and has a tail that allows him to attract prey.

The researchers also identified fish nicknamed bat fish. They possess arm-like fins, have a tiny fishing lure, and are part of the monkfish family.

We can also cite the discovery of Tribute to the Spidefish which has long and thick lower fins on which it rests as if on feet. There is also a census of lizard fish with high fins. They are deep-sea predators with a sharp-toothed jaw. They belong to the family of hermaphrodite fish as they are in possession of male and female reproductive functional tissues.

In bulk, they also discovered the existence of Sloane’s viper, Snipe Eel or sea urchin pancake who have a skeleton that flattens out like a pancake when out of the water.

the Dr Tim O’Hara, scientific director of this expedition, said that:

We have discovered an astonishing number of potentially new species living in this remote marine park.

new cards

The science team too took advantage of this expedition to produce detailed three-dimensional images of the mountain beneath the Cocos Islands. It had never been mapped before. Dr. Tim O’Hara points out that:

We broadcast these new 3D maps and underwater video images directly from the ship to the Cocos Islanders, who were delighted to see their seascape in all its glory. We used all of RV Investigator’s ocean depth mapping capabilities to fully examine the Cocos Islands, from coastal depths of less than 100m to the abyss of approximately 4800m below.

The dataset now covers a large and unprecedented area of ​​these marine parks. Museum Victoria’s CEO concluded the survey by stating that:

The research results of this expedition will be invaluable to our understanding of Australia’s underwater environments and the impact humans have on them. We are proud that our maps, data and images will be used by Parks Australia to manage the new marine park in the future.

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