The oceans's deepest point is Challenger Deep, a chasm almost 11,000m below the surface. Few fish species can stand this dark, hostile environment - but scientists have identified one that flourishes.
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Normally, if a story about deep water sea creatures comes along it involves horrifying abominations of nature that have been hardened by some of the toughest conditions for life on planet Earth. But a team of researchers from Japan recently documented the deepest living fish ever seen, and it almost seems like it's waving hello to all of us surface dwellers.
Remember Sly Sludge, the villain from the popular '90s cartoon Captain Planet? Probably not, since he was a minor character voiced by Martin Sheen, and we're always struggling for pop culture references here at Gizmodo. Nevertheless, the evil message of Sly Sludge -- that we can't just wish our pollution problems away -- is currently destroying ecosystems at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
On April 20, NOAA scientists working on the Okeanos Explorer dispatched their prized Deep Discoverer robot to scour the floor of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on the surface of the Earth. Little is known about the ecology of this 11km crevice -- in fact, it's often said that we know more about the surface of Mars.