With a fish carcass to lure them out, the researchers were able to observe rare deep water creatures in their natural habitat, including three new species.
The expedition that involved a team of 40 scientists from 17 different nations used two landers equipped with advanced cameras to explore the ultra-deep environments in the Atacama Trench.
Outfitted with glossy, swishing tails and fan-like fins, snailfish now come in delightful shades of pink, purple, and blue.
Part of the Liparidae family, the fish are unusual in appearance compared to the typical idea of a deep-sea fish. Instead of enormous teeth and imperiled frame, the fish that maneuver in the deepest path of the ocean are small, translucent, stripped of scales and are highly proficient of residing where other sea animals can not.
These fish belong to the Liparidae family - however, they do not conform to the stereotypical image of the typical deep-sea fish.
"As the footage clearly shows, there are lots of invertebrate prey down there and the snailfish are the top predator, they seem to be quite active and look very well-fed".
This releases weights and the lander rises to the surface with the help of flotation - enabling the team to catch specimens and take video footage of life at the bottom of the ocean.
The fish are said to have a gelatinous structure that is perfectly adapted to the extreme pressure at the bottom of the trench.
The lander is basically an innovative trap equipped with lure, screens and submerged cameras - would take four hours to fall the distance to the base of the sea, nearly five miles somewhere down in a few regions of the Atacama Trench, off the shoreline of Peru and Chile.
Their squishy, translucent bodies are very well-suited to deep oceans, where the extreme water pressure and cold temperatures keep their forms more or less in line, USA Today explained. Without the pressure of the water and the chill of the deep ocean, they appear to melt on reaching the surface. The scientist said that they could trap one of them and it is in good condition for further study.
"They fall apart at like the molecular level", Linley said. Apart from snailfish, they also found various freakish creatures in the environment such as long-legged isopods or Munnopsids. To crawl across the sea floor, long-legged isopods start off by swimming backwards and upside-down. The snailfish discovery will be featured at the Challenger Conference 2018 at Newcastle University. These crustaceans have small bodies, extraordinarily long legs and swim back and down, propelling themselves with paddles on their ventral side - their "belly" - before straightening on the seabed and unfurling their long legs to walk like a spider.