What creatures lurk in the deep abyss?

By Matt Marrison

20 June 2017

An international research team has just returned from a voyage of deep sea discovery with an astonishing variety of weird and wonderful creatures from Australia’s eastern abyss.

Considered one of the most inaccessible and unexplored environments on the planet, the team led by scientists from Museums Victoria pulled into port with a precious cargo of bizarre, unusual and even unnerving deep sea species discovered in the abyss – a dark, crushing environment 4000m below the surface.

Research in other parts of the world has found that life in the abyss has evolved many highly unique ways to survive.

The species discovered during this voyage will help provide important baseline data about the biodiversity and distribution of life in the deep ocean around Australia. More than one third of invertebrates and a number of the fishes found are completely new to science.

Called Sampling the Abyss, the 31-day voyage on our Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator brought together scientists from Museums Victoria, CSIRO, and other Australian and international museums and research agencies.

So without further ado, let’s meet these abyssal finds.

More important findings from this research will be released in the coming months as data and specimens are analysed in  institutions around Australia.

In the meantime, find out more about our research vessel Investigator.