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Diver Makes 'Deepest Dwelling' Hat Trick

There’s a dynamic duo of divers out there who keep discovering tentacled animals in the deepest of undersea zones, where pressure and temperature prohibit the vast majority of ocean life from surviving.

Whilst pouring over film from their submersible’s recent dive to the bottom of the Philippines Trench, deep sea researcher Dr. Alan Jamieson noticed a squid that was gliding past the camera a mile below the deepest previously-recorded squid sighting.

The species in question is known as a magnapinnid or big-finned squid. The individual they saw was probably a juvenile, which suggests that there is an ecosystem down 6,200 meters, or nearly four miles below the surface, with which to sustain prominent predators.

The dive was part of an expedition sponsored by Caladan Oceanic to discover the 1944 wreck of the USS Johnston which sank during the largest naval battle in history.

The wreck was found, and looked as if it “came down yesterday” remarked Caladon’s founder Victor Vescovo, the pilot of the submersible which found both the wreck and the squid.

Last year, the same scientists, Mike Vecchione and Alan Jamieson, along with Vescovo, recorded the deepest-living octopus, a discovery which expanded the total marine mileage in which octopuses can live to 99 percent of the world’s oceans.

No octopus had been found at a depth greater than 5,100 meters (around 3 miles) since 1971, but during a dive into the Java Trench they found a Dumbo octopus, named for its big ear-like fins, at just shy of 7,000 meters down (4.3 miles), at which point the pressure becomes about the same as a Tyrannosaurus’s jaws on your head.

In 2020 Vecchione and Jamieson discovered the deepest-dwelling jellyfish, which swam by the camera on Vescovo’s submersible at 9km, or 5.4 miles below the surface. At this depth the pressure is around 1,00-times greater than the pressure enforced by the Earth’s atmosphere.


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