The creature – called a supergiant – is a type of amphipod, which are normally around 2-3cm long. But these beasts, discovered in the Kermadec Trench, were more than 10 times bigger: the largest found measured in at 34cm.
The strange animals were found using a large metal trap, which had been equipped with a camera, housed in sapphire glass to keep it safe from the high pressures of the deep sea. Seven specimens were caught in the trap and nine were captured on film by the team from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa), in New Zealand. The largest specimen brought back up to the ship measured 28cm in length, while the biggest spotted on camera was 34cm-long.
The name “supergiant” was first coined after large specimens were caught in the 1980s off the coast of Hawaii. They have been since being seen in the Antarctic, where they grew up to 10cm, but these are now dwarfed by this latest find.
Over the last few years, scientists have been surprised by the life that is found in ocean trenches. These deep-sea spots were once thought to be barren; too dark, cold and with too much pressure for anything to survive. But researchers have found a wealth of life in the deepest of the deep.
Source: BBC News
Image: Mail Online