In just seven days of ocean sampling research near the Kermadec Islands northeast of New Zealand, scientists found several strange-looking species of deep sea fish that were rare, new to science or never before seen in the area.

New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

Holding fish specimens. (Photo: Malcolm Clark/NIWA)

The scientists from University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa explored the Kermadec Trench, which goes down more than six miles and is one of the deepest places on Earth, according to the university website.

“Between this and the previous expeditions we have now sampled from a depth range greater than Mount Everest is high,” the Oceanlab’s Dr. Alan Jamieson said in a statement to the university. ”What makes the whole experience even more personally satisfying is that all the equipment used in these research cruises was designed and constructed at Oceanlab.”

New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

New deep see cusk eel in New Zealand. (Photo: NIWA/University of Aberdeen)

Here are a few of their discoveries:

  • a new species of eelpout at depths of 4250m
  • new depth records of 5,500m for a rattail fish – these have not previously been caught in the southwest Pacific
  • another rattail fish – in depths of between 2000 and 4500m – that has not been caught in New Zealand waters for over 100 years
  • new depth records of 3500m for  large deep sea cusk eels
New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

Rattail (Photo: NIWA/University of Aberdeen)

New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

New species of eelpout. (Photo: NIWA/University of Aberdeen)

New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

Rare species of rattail not seen in Pacific southwest until this find. (Photo: NIWA/University of Aberdeen)

Researchers also noted the accomplishment of actually being able to conduct sound reviews of what is at deeper parts of the ocean due to new technologies.

New Zealand Researchers Find Rare and New Species of Deep Sea Fish Near Kermandec Trench

Map of the Kermadec Trench (Image: NOAA Ocean Explorer via Wikimedia)

“A voyage such as this is testament to how feasible scientific research in the deep sea has become,” Jamieson said in a statement. ”It is no longer the inaccessible, out of reach, part of the world it once was. The technological challenges of the past are being overcome, and shouldn’t limit our responsibility to learn about and understand the deep sea to help ensure the long term health of the deep oceans – one of the largest environments on Earth.”

(H/T: Daily Mail)