New Hebrides Trench: Unexpected Sea Creatures at 23,000 Feet

by Robert Cheney

in News, Pacific Ocean

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen and New Zealand have recorded hours of footage from the bottom of the New Hebrides Trench.

The New Hebrides Trench is located between New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean. It has a maximum depth of 4.5 miles (25,000 feet):

The inhabitants they expected to find contrasted significantly with what they actually found. Instead of fish like the grenadiers, they found that just two animals dominate the area, the cusk-eel and bright red prawns.

New Hebrides Trench location

New Hebrides Trench location

Cusk eel


Most of the food that trench inhabitants feed on is falling debris from the water above. Since these animals are commonly found in low food density areas which are common in the tropical regions that dominate the Pacific Ocean, this means large swaths of the deep Pacific Ocean are inhabited by these two animals as opposed to those of the Pacific Rim which are more nutrient rich than tropical waters and thus have a wider diversity of animals.

The New Hebrides Trench (notice the red prawns and cusk-eels):

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