Feb 7, 2023
An aquarium full of new species
Australian scientists have discovered a myriad of wondrous sea creatures, some with fascinating and bizarre abilities.
Photograph by Benjamin Healley

Last year was a year full of surprises in the marine world. In 2022, scientists discovered enough new species to fill an entire aquarium. In December, a team of scientists from the Museums Victoria Research Institute stumbled upon a myriad of previously unknown new species during an expedition to the remote Cocos Islands.

Deep-sea animals, like all living things, have evolved and adapted to their surroundings. Their hostile environment of low temperatures, total darkness, and intense pressure has caused these species to select for advantageous characteristics and unusual appearances. Among the newly discovered species, some are extremely peculiar, for example a new variant of tribute spiderfish has long and thin lower fins, which it uses to anchor on the seabed giving it the appearance of a spider. Deep-sea organisms also have underdeveloped eyes, due to the darkness, among them a blind eel has been discovered. In addition to its unusual appearance, due to a gelatinous skin that makes it look like a ghost, it is also one of the few fish species to give birth to live young.

However, most of these species have yet to be identified and given a scientific name. The depths of the ocean are teeming with weird and wonderful creatures. As humans go deeper into the ocean, more and more will be discovered. It is estimated that today there are between 100,000 and 1,000,000 marine species yet to be discovered.

Find out more

Discover more

Share and spread the voice!
Support the project: