The discovery of six deep-sea fish species was part of a wider survey of biologically rich seas near the Crozet Islands in the Indian Ocean, conducted between 2005 and 2006.
Scientists believe the region's diversity of life is linked to iron deposits from the islands.
Massive plankton blooms may also be caused by minerals in iron runoff from the islands, researchers say.
Dead plankton that fall to the seabed—called marine snow—are eaten by mud-burrowing worms and other deep-sea organisms, producing a nourishing effect that passes up the food chain, said researcher Nicola King of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
The seas also support a wealth of wildlife, including king penguins and elephant seals, seen here on Possession Island in the Crozet archipelago.