Fun Ethereal Snailfish Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Ethereal Snailfish Facts For Kids

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Life around us isn't always limited to the sky, earth, or even just the surface of the water, and people from Friday Harbor Laboratories, such as Mackenzie Gerringer, have helped us realize so! Welcome to the world of wispy, ghostly, purple, and pinkish-white animals from 22,965 ft (7000 m) and below - the ethereal snailfish. Discovered for the first time at the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, this species is making headlines for its capabilities to endure and adapt to the extremely harsh conditions of living under high water pressure zones.

These species are endemic and appear in abundant numbers in the Mariana Trench. They lay eggs that are unusually large, almost a centimeter wide. Scientists hauled up based on individual dissection that these snailfish never fall short of food.

If you like this article, check out monkfish facts and toadfish facts!

Fun Ethereal Snailfish Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Plankton, Amphipods, Copepods

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

It varies on fish species

How much do they weigh?

Up to 24 lb (11 kg )

How long are they?

As small as 2.0 in (5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Pink, White

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Oceans, Mariana Trench











Ethereal Snailfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an ethereal snailfish?

It is a type of deep-sea fish found at great depths and deepest trenches similar to anglerfish, oarfish, black dragonfish, and batfish.

What class of animal does an ethereal snailfish belong to?

The snailfish is a species of fish that belongs to the class of Actinopterygii.

How many ethereal snailfishes are there in the world?

Although the exact number of these species is unknown, there are 410 species of snailfish found nearly in various oceans.

Where does an ethereal snailfish live?

Mariana snailfish live at great ocean floor depths and are distributed across countries like South America, Japan, and the Atlantic. It is found in various trenches, such as the Atacama Trench, a part of the Peru-Chile subduction zone. To understand how deep these animals live, here's an analogy, The volume of the trench is almost similar to the neighboring Andes mountain range, which is also a creation of the subduction zone. Researchers, in fact, first discovered it at the Mariana Trench. Snailfish are also found at various depths of marine waters, including the San Juan Island coast.

What is an ethereal snailfish's habitat?

Scientists claim this new species of fish to be one of the deepest living fish to be found from the ocean floor. It is found at nearly 7966 m (26135 ft) in the Mariana Trench and in the dark, frigid ocean regions, also known as the Hadal Zone. Hence these new species of snailfish are also called Hadal snailfish. Due to the depths, they live in the sea; their habitat is a high-pressure environment with high water pressure.

Who do ethereal snailfishes live with?

Researchers team along with scientists used freefalling cameras as their imaging equipment in a research vessel to observe these creatures from sea surface to the ocean floor. They found the Mariana snailfish to be at times present in trio in various trenches.

How long does an ethereal snailfish live?

Pseudoliparis swirei is known to have a life in the range of one year to a decade.

How do they reproduce?

These Mariana snailfish have various reproductive strategies. Some snailfish are known to deposit their eggs in stones, cold-water corals, kelp, or even xenophyophores. At times the male species guards this egg mass as well. After the eggs hatch, they rapidly reach the adult stage.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the hadal snailfish is Not Evaluated by the IUCN.

Ethereal Snailfish Fun Facts

What do ethereal snailfish look like?

Dusky Snailfish

*We've been unable to source an image of a ethereal snailfish and have used an image of a dusky snailfish instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a ethereal snailfish, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

These fishes often have pink, purple, or blue colors with flesh so translucent that even its liver could be seen from the outside! A fish that's so attractive at such depths is a sight to see. Moreover, they have no big teeth, no scales, which is quite out of the blue for a fish, and aren't bioluminescent, which in layman's terms means no emission or production of light by a living organism. This is in contrast to jellyfish, which glow in the waters. They also have transparent and delicate fins and bodies that look gelatinous. At first glance, their appearance may deceive you and make the animal look incapable of surviving the enormous pressure, but this is what makes nature a mystery, with such enigmatic animals existing and thriving in the environment's harshest conditions with just such simple features.

How cute are they?

Snailfish are rather cute fish. With their pink, pointy tail and translucent body, these new species of fish found in the deepest trenches on the planet make for pretty cuddly-looking fishes.

How do they communicate?

The team of researchers and scientists haven't yet found the exact means through which these Mariana snailfish communicate with each other, however, fish living at great depths in the ocean communicate via various chemical signals or cues. These signals are pretty much the language of life inside the vast ocean. Known as info-chemicals, these can be as simple as parts of simple or complex molecule compounds.

How big is an ethereal snailfish?

The Mariana snailfish is about 2.0 in (5 cm), found in places like the Mariana Trench, Atacama Trench, and the Pacific Ocean.

How fast can an ethereal snailfish swim?

Researchers or scientists have not yet found the speed of the ethereal snailfish, but it is known that these new species of deepest fish, the Mariana snailfish, have been adept at swimming in such great depths of places as the Pacific ocean and other areas near the coast.

How much does an ethereal snailfish weigh?

The Mariana snailfish weighs similar to other snailfishes and can go up to 24 lb (11 kg ).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both the male and female species of the deepest fish found in the high-pressure zone like the Atacama trench are known as ethereal snailfish themselves. No specific names have been provided for the sexes.

What would you call a baby ethereal snailfish?

What's cuter than a snailfish? A baby snailfish! These tiny tots are just 1 cm long and are yet to develop teeth and their bodies. There are no specific names for baby ethereal snailfish.

What do they eat?

These specialist species feed on a variety of items to sustain their bodies. These creatures feed on a mix of small and large copepods, plankton, and amphipods. The adults also consume additional polychaetes and cumaceans. In fact, these snailfish specimens have about twenty-eight food categories to choose from!

Are they dangerous?

To date, not much is known about how this species of one of the deepest fish on the planet is harmful or dangerous to humans or animals. Although considering the fact that researchers like Gerringer and Alan Jamieson have analyzed the depths of its living to be approximately 22,965 ft (7000 m), it's unlikely that these creatures would appear on the surface and harm anyone.

Would they make a good pet?

Unfortunately, keeping one of the deep-sea inhabitants as a pet may not be an option due to the high-pressure conditions these species are habituated to. Moreover, these fishes are hardly spotted near the water surface, so it would be hard for them to be good pets.

Did you know...

This fish also underwent a CT scan at the Natural history museum London that created a three-dimensional digital model to ensure digital backups of the body plans. A first for a fish, perhaps!

The camera records of the imaging equipment were used at 8000 m (26246 ft) which was a big feat for technological advancements in the marine area.

The fish is named after a sailor, Herbert Swire, an officer on the HMS Challenger expedition who first discovered the Mariana trench in the late 1800s. Gerringer also added that they named the fish after Herbert Swire to acknowledge and honor the crews that serve on oceanographic research vessels.

While approaching to cope with such extreme environmental conditions, Fish simply do not eke out an existence. Rather they thrive. Therefore, few of the trenches supported no single specialist species but many such species with body plans hinting at different lifestyles sustain with a trench.

These animals are not only the sole winners of the deepest fish award, but they are also species that live in trenches that are isolated from one and other and at times over 10,000 km apart. It's incredible to see these species living so happily at such extreme depths, no matter where these depths are and in numbers never thought possible.

What is special about the ethereal snailfish?

Ethereal snailfish is one of the very species to be found at depths like 8000 m ( 26246ft) in the sea as very few animals survive under such high-pressure conditions. In fact, this is one of the deepest fish to ever be collected from the ocean floor. This fact is rightly attested by the lead author Mackenzie Gerringer working at Friday Harbor Laboratories at the University of Washington.

This is the first time an unmanned submersible with strong and durable material strength properties was used to endure the ocean's great depths. The vessel to observe these species also had sapphire crystals used along with a casing of stainless steel.

Are ethereal snailfish endangered?

Newcastle University team member and principal investigator of these species, Dr. Thomas Linley, has remarked about a competitor and predator-free environment. This fish enjoys being in the trench and deep-sea environments. Due to the depth, there really isn't any scope for many animals or humans for that matter to hunt them, and the funnel shape of the trench implies more food. Its life, you could say, is a perfect recipe for a peaceful life.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our paddlefish facts and rockfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Ethereal snailfish coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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