In an unknown abyss, faceless fish swim

It was first collected in 1870 from Papua New Guinea, and now scientists say they have pulled the one off the deep end again: a so-called anonymous fish.

The AFP reports on the scientific bounty collected from two weeks to a month-long expedition along the eastern side of Australia, where researchers are exploring the Commonwealth marine reserves off the north of Tasmania to central Queensland.

It is an abyss: the waters up to 2.5 km deep that have never been examined. Scientist Tim O’hara calls it “the most unexplored area on Earth,” and what it has returned so far, everything is of “tripod fish” plate-sized sea spiders—and 16-inch anonymous fish, Typhlonus nasus, which researchers are calling an Anonymous Cusk.

“It has the eyes way below the surface, but really are not all eyes,” Di Bray tells Australia’s ABC News. (See photos of here.) “It looks like two rear ends on a fish, really,” says O’hara, who explains the being lives in a ruthless environment of “crushing pressure,” no light, and with temperatures around 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Guardian reports of the expedition’s finds are collected through the use of a “metal sled-style device” that is connected to the surface through 5 km of the wire and drag it along the bottom.

The sled also has collected lots of waste, some dating back two centuries. And while most of the messages in the media suggest that this is the first time that the fish have been collected since the crew of the HMS Challenger did that in 1874, an expedition blog post makes it clear that not so: “Although rare, it is fairly widespread … in 1951, a trawling in deep waters of East Kalimantan, Borneo, collected five copies.” The trip will end June 16.

(This uninhabited island is home to the recycle bin, too.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: In an Unknown Abyss, Faceless Fish Swim

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