Ghostly fish of the dead zone.

The Telegraph dives four and a half miles into a vast undersea dead zone… and surfaces with a ghostly new species of fish:

The new type of snailfish was found living at a depth of 22,966ft (7,000m) in the Peru-Chile trench of the South East Pacific Ocean.

The 10-inch-long tadpole-shaped creature with a large head, tiny eyes and pelvic fins has adapted to living in an icy cold, pitch black environment under constant, crushing pressure.

[Said lead researcher Dr Alan Jamieson, of the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab:] “This expedition was prompted by our findings in 2008 and 2009 off Japan and New Zealand where we discovered new species of snailfish known as liparids inhabiting trenches … at depths of approximately 7,000 metres – with each trench hosting its own unique species of the fish.

“To test whether these species would be found in all trenches, we repeated our experiments on the other side of the Pacific Ocean off Peru and Chile, some 6,000 miles (9,656km) from our last observations.

“What we found was that indeed there was another unique species of snailfish living at 7,000 metres – entirely new to science – which had never been caught or seen before.”