The deeper you go, the more unusual the wildlife becomes. Image Credit: Neal Ziring / Public Domain
Scientists have revealed some of the weird and wonderful animals that live in Australia's eastern abyss.
The expedition, which set out to explore Commonwealth marine reserves (CMRs) off the coast of eastern Tasmania and central Queensland, used a special type of camera to find out what type of creatures might be lurking up to 4km below the ocean's surface.
Among the unique specimens found during the study were a red coffin fish, a cookie-cutter shark, a blobfish, a spiky crab and a giant anemone-eating sea-spider.
Not so impressive however was the amount of trash found strewn across the sea floor.
"We've done about 50 different small net tows on the bottom and every one of them has brought up a piece of rubbish," said Dr Tim O'Hara from Museums Victoria. "Everything we do on land affects things we do at sea and that filters down to the deep sea and into the abyss."
On the plus side though, the findings should help conservation efforts well in to the future.
"We need to protect our marine parks and we need to know what's there so we know how to protect them," said marine invertebrates expert Melanie McKenzie.
"The only way we can do that is to find out what's there first, to get that baseline."
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