The ocean is one of the universe's least understood and most vulnerable places. This is mainly because about 80% of this body of water remained unexplored. And among the most diverse ecosystems in the world is the Mariana Trench, an underwater part in the Earth's crust. It's very deep, about 5x longer than the Grand Canyon.
The Mariana Trench is known as the deepest area or part of the oceans. Scientists consider this place so far-off, and they had no clue what sort of life could be existing there. If you dive deeper than 1,000 meters or about 3,280 feet into the ocean, there will be no sunlight. However, a few unmanned vehicles went to the trench and proved that Mariana Trench Animals thrived in that kind of environment.
So, perhaps you find Mariana Trench Animals so intriguing. In this article, you will discover some of the amazing and bizarre Mariana Trench Animals.
List of Mariana Trench Animals
In this section, you will know what lies at the ocean's lowest point, the Mariana Trench animals.
1. Deep-Sea Dragonfish
First on the list is the deep-sea predator, also known as Dragonfish. They belong to the Fish family, and they are found at depths between 700-6,000 feet. They use bioluminescent photophores along their sides and create a reddish light to entice mates and prey. Also, their photophore protrudes on their chin, so they can use it as a fishing pole to entice their prey.
2. Angler Fish
This is one of the Mariana Trench Animals that is very popular because it's quite like the Fish in Finding Nemo. The shape of its body is very unusual, and its teeth are sharp. Female Angler Fish could potentially grow around 8 inches long, while the males could only reach an inch. The males also fuse themselves with the females, turning two individuals into one.
3. Comb Jellies
These visually captivating, gelatinous animals could drift through the ocean's water column. They look very beautiful with their long tentacles, pulsating bells, and paddling combs that generate rainbow colors.
And though they look similar to jellyfish, the comb jellies are not relatives, and they both have different origins. Furthermore, its name was generated from the comb-like plates in its body to help it move around the ocean.
4. Barreleye Fish
Light is rare in Mariana Trench. The abilities of Mariana Trench animals to detect glimmering sunshine would mean a big difference when they catch a meal. For instance, the Barreleye Fish, it evolves rare features to use in shedding light to its advantage. Their heads are transparent, and inside their head are 2 delicate barrel-shaped eyes pointed upwards.
Scientists think that the way they look would allow the Fish to gather more light. Furthermore, the Barreleye Fish was not known to people until the year 1939, when it was drawn from its habitat below the shallow.
5. Dumbo Octopus
This is the deepest known living octopus, also known as grimpotheuthis. A dumbo octopus belongs to the pelagic umbrella octopuses and is known for its floppy ears. Even though scientists found the first samples in 1883, it was until the 1990s that dumbo octopuses were seen underwater from the submersible.
Dumbo octopuses may appear to be small compared to other octopods, and their gelatinous body allows them to exist at highly pressured depths if it likes. The pressure keeps its body together, and if it was brought to the surface, a dumbo octopus could not work the right way.
6. Mariana Snail Fish
This is one of the Mariana Trench animals that holds the record for the deepest Fish captured on the seafloor. It looks strange and is believed to exist at depths in the Mariana Trench from 6,198 meters to around 26,000 feet.
The Mariana Snail Fish looks like a tadpole, and its skin is loose instead of having scales. There are not so many predators for the snailfish, but it turns out that it exists in the trench in large numbers. And just like many inhabitants, the snailfish are blind, but they also developed other senses for food.
7. Telescope Octopus
Just like wraiths of the abyss, the Telescope Octopus dangle and floats in deep currents of the Earth's oceans. Unlike most octopuses, it doesn't flit about on the seafloor, but it drifts through the water at depths greater than 6,500 feet. Furthermore, it doesn't swim horizontally, but it suspends itself vertically, making it harder for its predators to see them.
8. Ping-pong Tree Sponge
This flesh-eating sponge appears like a tree, covered in ping-pong balls. It reaches around 20 inches in height, compost of a thin stalk. It looks like a strange sponge with hook-covered spheres that would trap its prey.
9. Vampire Squid
The Vampire Squid has evolved in depths of at least 2,000 – 3,000 feet. It uses filaments on its arms to capture and detect food. It also has bioluminescent lights and deep red color, that's why it may appear scary. Furthermore, if vampire squids are threatened, they would curl their arms upwards around their bodies and stick out small spiky projections.
10. Frilled Shark
Last on the list of Mariana Trench animals are frilled sharks. These sharks were discovered in the 19th century and are often referred to as the "living fossil" because of their mouth's unique shape and appearance. Their bodies look like an eel that could turn from dark brown to grey colors. They are found near the ocean floor, like the Mariana Trench and productive areas.
While we continue to progress in ocean discoveries, some areas of the ocean are still not easy to access. That's why it's hard to define what lies behind the deep and dark waters. The Mariana Trench Animals may seem new or unusual to you, as people rarely see these creatures. But don't fret, as these creatures still play a big role in the wild.
As we discovered the lives in the deepest part of the ocean, perhaps you find them very fascinating. What has been discovered was made possible through technologies. What we can do best is to take care of the ocean. That way, we could prevent pollution and damaging the ocean, especially the creatures in deep waters.
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