Scientists Discover New Sea Creatures Off the Coast of Chile

A team of scientists from Schmidt Ocean Institute recently explored the deep waters of the southeastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile and made an amazing discovery of more than 100 previously unknown sea creatures. One of the most intriguing new species they discovered was a walking “fish”.

The “walking” fish, most likely a member of the sea toad family, received this nickname because it uses its fins to walk on the sea floor. Its other features include “googly” eyes and skin that resembles crochet. Additionally, most of its body is covered with thin needles, which experts say serve as a defense against predators.

“The sea toad has modified fins that allow it to walk on the seafloor—partly a hunting strategy and partly because it’s more energy efficient than swimming,” Javier Sellanes, a marine biologist at the Catholic University of the North in Chile, told National Geographic.

As part of their research, the Schmidt Ocean Institute team mapped four seamounts, also known as underwater mounts, for the first time. According to experts, the “unique nature of the topography of the seamounts” has led to the development of species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Schmidt Ocean Institute live-streamed the expedition, which included a 5,000-feet dive from a robotic underwater vehicle, on YouTube. Check out the footage below and see which other amazing sea creatures live in the region.

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