Cocos Islands, Australia: Horror movie explorers discover mysterious creatures in the sea

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Cocos Islands, AustraliaLike from a horror movie – explorers discover mysterious creatures in the sea

Fish that walk on the bottom of the ocean, hermaphrodites and blind eels that give birth to live young: an expedition of Australian scientists has discovered several previously unknown creatures.

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The pelican eel looks like something out of a horror movie.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

Thanks to its flexible stomach, it can swallow large prey.

Thanks to its flexible stomach, it can swallow large prey.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

This blind eel gives birth to live young.

This blind eel gives birth to live young.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

On board were scientists from the Victoria Research Institute in Melbourne research vessel RV Investigator spent 35 days exploring the Cocos Islands region of South West Australia, covering 11,000 km. Their goal was to map the largely unexplored area around the islands, which is characterized by cone-shaped undersea volcanoes, mountains and deep canyons. During the voyage, they created 3D maps of a huge seamount that lies beneath the islands and has never been mapped. The region has been a nature reserve since March 2022 reports the National Health Service.

During their work, which covered 744,000 square kilometers, the scientists also examined fauna located 5,000 meters below sea level. With special cameras, they are able to capture images of creatures that look as strange as they are bizarre, and this would give scientists a lot more work. “We discovered an amazing number of potentially new creatures,” said lead researcher Tim O’Hara Research trip publication. The researchers were able to take several of these creatures with them trawl nets from the seabed and examine them more closely aboard the Interrogator.

Among them are some animal species with very special characteristics. For example, researchers have found:

  • AND blind Aal, which lives at depths of five kilometers and has transparent gelatinous skin. Females give birth to live young instead of eggs.

  • Bat of the deepwhich use arm-like fins to “swim” along the sea floor and carry a kind of fishing lure in a cavity in their lower jaw to attract prey.

  • The Tribute to Spiderfishwhich has extra-long pelvic fins with reinforced tips that allow it to walk like stilts on the seabed, giving it an ideal position for catching small crabs.

  • Bizarre Pelican eelwhich has a tiny head in front of its gigantic jaws and which can expand its stomach to swallow large prey.

  • The Highfin Lizardfisha voracious predatory fish with countless sharp teeth that is a hermaphrodite, meaning it has both male and female genitalia.

  • The Viperfish, which has teeth so long that they are visible even when the mouth is closed. It has rows of light spots on its underbelly and on the tip of its very large dorsal fin. This is how it attracts prey.

  • Pancake-Seeigelwhich have such a fine skeleton that it spreads like an omelette when taken out of the water.

What the team discovers in the mysterious undersea mountain range is much more than they expected. “It’s a real honor to see the amazing features of these animals from the depths for the first time,” said Tim O’Hara.

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