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Last Updated: Wednesday October 08 2008 07:45 GMT

'Deepest ever' living fish found

The "deepest ever" living fish

Scientists think they've discovered the "deepest ever" living fish.

Experts from the UK and Japan caught 17 of the strange-looking snailfish on camera nearly five miles under the Pacific ocean, near Japan.

Researchers are pretty excited about their find as they said the only other examples of life at that depth were old specimens that are held in museums.

It's all part of an expedition using special remote-controlled cameras to hunt for ocean life below 6,000 metres.

Snailfish live in total darkness and near-freezing temperatures because they're so far underwater the sun doesn't reach them.

They feed on thousands of tiny shrimp-like creatures, but researchers have found the fish aren't the loners they thought they were.

Professor Monty Priede said: "The images show groups that are sociable and active - possibly even families - feeding on little shrimp, yet living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth."