Found at depths of up to 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers), this bizarre orange fish
, called Neocyema,
is only the fifth specimen of the species ever captured--and the first seen on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, scientists said in November 2009.
During their ongoing survey of deep-sea oddities, CoML scientists have employed deep-towed cameras, sonar, and other technologies to detect 17,650 species and counting--from crabs to shrimps to worms--that live without sunlight.
In the eternally dark depths, these creatures have evolved strange adaptations. Some depend on animals that live in the waters above--such as whales--to die and drift down, which others, such as bacteria, actually eat oil, sulfur, or methane. (Related: "New Worms Eat (and Eat and Eat) Only on Dead Whales."
Photograph courtesy Census of Marine Life