An odd looking fish has set a new record for living some 8,145 metres below the surface of the ocean, dwarfing the previous record by almost 500 metres.
The new species which has wing-like fins and is thought to possibly be a type of snailfish, was spotted during an expedition in the Mariana Trench, which goes as deep as 11km, found off the coast of eastern Asia.
Several other new species were also discovered in the 30 day voyage which was led by Dr Jeff Drazen and Patty Fryer from the University of Hawaii.
The team was unable to catch the fish and bring it to the surface, thus meaning that they are unable to confirm that it is a new species. It is so far down that scientists believe that it is verging on the depth limit – which is the lowest a fish can possibly survive.
University of Aberdeen and OceanLab staff Dr Alan Jamieson, said: "After we found these, we started seeing them in other deep trenches. Each trench has its own snailfish species.
"And we saw one in the Mariana Trench at more than 8,000m, and we think it's a new species. We think it is a snailfish, but it's so weird-looking; it's up in the air in terms of what it is. It is unbelievably fragile, and when it swims, it looks like it has wet tissue paper floating behind it. And it has a weird snout - it looks like a cartoon dog snout."
The aim of the exploration was to use the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel, dubbed Falkor, to study various depths and trench surfaces.
Dr Drazen: "Many studies have rushed to the bottom of the trench, but from an ecological view that is very limiting. It's like trying to understand a mountain ecosystem by only looking at its summit."