This would be an underwater freak show if there was one. A group of scientists from the Natural History Museum in London have discovered a lot of strange creatures in the Pacific Ocean.

55 fish were recovered from the western edge of an ocean between Hawaii and Mexico with the help of a ROV. The researchers' findings were published in the journal ZooKeys on July 18.

While the eastern side of the abyss has been explored frequently, the western portion, which includes several nearby seamounts, has remained largely unexplored and is a great place to discover new.

Of the 55 specimens collected, seven have been confirmed as new species, including the Chrysogorgia abludo, a type of coral.

Chrysogorgia abludo, a type of coral, is one of seven confirmed new species found during the expedition. (Image credit: DeepCCZ expedition, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation & NOAA)

There hasn't been a lot of study done since theHMS Challenger expedition explored this area about 150 years ago. The ocean has barely been touched.


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The scientists were able to make up for lost time. The gummy squirrel that they found was nearly 2 feet (60 cm) long and was made of an elastic, banana-shaped sea cucumber.

A white sea sponge (hyalonema) found in the Pacific Ocean.

A sea sponge (hyalonema) whose body resembles a tulip. (Image credit: DeepCCZ expedition, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation & NOAA)

The type of coral that caught Bribiesca-Contreras' attention was a potential new species. C. abludo is found in the Atlantic Ocean. The researchers have yet to name the new species. This is the first time that a coral of this type has been found outside of Asia.

Bribiesca-Contrerasshe said that they initially thought it was the same species. It's crazy to think that a lot of the life forms we see haven't changed over the course of millions of years. We have seen many of these species as fossils, and they look the same now.

Bribiesca-Contrerasshe said that many of the strange adaptations in the deep-sea have persisted for so long because they improve the animals' chances of survival.

She said that living in the ocean can be difficult. Their bodies are withstanding crushing pressure and there is little nutrition available.

Many of these animals have only been seen in photographs or videos before the NHM expedition. Scientists were able to study the specimen as they traveled through their ocean habitat and then later in the lab. As the deep-sea mining industry continues to expand worldwide, scientists are able to better understand remote and untouched deep-sea environments.

She said that they need to understand the system so that they can come up with plans for preservation. We don't have a lot of information about the environment and the species that live there.

It was originally published on Live Science