Researchers have uncovered some peculiar creatures and fish from the deep sea about 1,500 miles off the western coast of Australia. And, for these scientists, the unique finds are impressive dreams come true as many have only heard rumblings about animals such as these lurking within the seas.
From fish walking on stilt-like legs to oozing creatures a-plenty, these strange beings were discovered during marine investigations of two marine parks near the Australian coast. And, even as the scientists took off on the expedition earlier this fall on September 30, a museum curator from Museums Victoria, Tim O’Hara predicted an impressive discovery or two would be made.
“We know the region is covered with massive seamounts formed during the dinosaur era,” O’Hara says.
“And we know the region sits at a critical juncture between the Pacific and Indian Oceans,” the curator relates.
O’Hara adds that the scientists were “excited about the prospect of discovering new species.”
“Perhaps even new branches of the tree of life,” the scientist continues. “Which until now have remained hidden beneath the waves in this unexplored region.”
Researchers Uncover Some Unusual Sea Creatures In Their Recent Expedition
As the researchers traveled the marine park areas that protect over 740,000 square kilometers of the ocean they found some interesting sea creatures. Among these are striking winged fish that travel by casting themselves into the air.
Been photographing flying fishes all day every day. I think we’re up to 6 species now, but I’ll need to check. What a stunning group of fishes these are! #RVInvestigator #InvestigatingtheIOT @CSIRO @austmus @museumsvictoria @BushBlitz2 @ParksAustralia pic.twitter.com/H0UWi5zNt2— KaiTheFishGuy (@FishGuyKai) October 5, 2022
“Been photographing flying fishes all day every day,” one Twitter post notes.
“I think we’re up to 6 species now,” the update continues. “[But] I’ll need to check. What a stunning group of fishes these are!”
The researchers also discovered an unusual deep-sea batfish. With its ravioli-like body and its adorable tiny face and beady eyes, the odd creature stood out to the scientists. The batfish shuffles its way along the ocean floor with fins that look like legs with big feet.
“These are tiny little anglerfish relatives,” one expert, Dianne Bray says of the newly discovered creature.
“They’ve got a tiny little lure that sits in a depression on their snout,” the expert continues. “That they can actually move to attract prey and they essentially walk over the floor on their modified arms and legs.”
O’Hara notes that it’s likely that up to one-third of these newly discovered species are new to science. Including a new type of blind cusk eel. The scientists pinpointed this creature that features loose gray and gooey see-through skin.
“These fish have really reduced eyes,” Bray says of the eels.
“In fact, if you see the picture you’ll find they’re like little golden depressions in the skin,” the scientist adds. They’ve got really loose, flabby, gelatinous skin and they’re incredibly rare.”