What enigmatic creature did scientists find among the 100 underwater species recently discovered VIDEO

A team of marine researchers on a mission to record hidden life in the world's oceans has reported the discovery of around 100 new species, including an enigmatic star-shaped creature.

A new species of fish was discovered at a depth of 4800 meters PHOTO Ocean Census catch

The expedition focused on the Bounty Trench, a little-explored region of the ocean located about 800 kilometers off the coast of New Zealand, east of the South Island.

The team's three-week trip took place in February aboard the research vessel Tangaroa, which belongs to the country's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, according to CNN.

The researchers collected nearly 1,800 samples from depths of more than 4,500 meters, discovering species of fish, squid, mollusks and corals that they believe are new to science.

We have this large area on the east coast of New Zealand where we have absolutely very little data. We don't know anything about her,” said Dr. Daniel Moore, scientific manager of the Ocean Census expedition, an alliance launched in April 2023 that aims to identify 100,000 unknown species over the next 10 years.

It was a real, very exciting exploration.”

Over the next three weeks, a team of scientists will analyze and describe the deep-sea finds to confirm whether or not they are new species.

Researchers are particularly interested in one discovery, which they initially thought was a type of starfish or sea anemone. “It is still a mystery. We cannot even describe his family. We don't know where it is on the tree of life yet, so it will be interesting,'' Moore said.

Queensland Museum Network taxonomist Dr Michela Mitchell said it could be a type of deep-sea coral called an octocoral.

Even more interestingly, it could be a whole new grouping outside of the octocorals. If so, this is a significant discovery for the deep sea and gives us a much clearer picture of the planet's unique biodiversity,” she said in a statement.

Moore said he was surprised to discover a new species of fish known as eelpout, which was “immediately recognized as different from the others.”

The discovery of new vertebrates is rare. There are hundreds of thousands of invertebrates in the sea that we still don't know about. Vertebrates we like to think we know, but the reality is we simply don't know them all,” he added.

To collect the samples, the ship towed three different types of devices, depending on the terrain.

These included a traditional trawler net that pulled another net to collect samples, a heavy-duty cable for rocky surfaces and another device that sampled water just above the seabed, as well as a towed underwater camera.

There are still huge gaps in scientific knowledge about the deep ocean. Of the 2.2 million species thought to exist in Earth's oceans, only 240,000 have been described by scientists, according to the Ocean Census.