Australia Ocean
A surfer jumps into the Pacific Ocean as a cloud bank sits off the coast of the Sydney's Elouera Beach as Australia experiences mild late autumn temperatures, April 28, 2017. Reuters/Jason Reed

Museums Australia and a government research organisation recently sponsored an international team of scientists to find out what lives on the ocean floor off the Australian Coast. Their purpose was to know as well how the creatures down there have adapted to survive. They were simply astonished.

Two and a half miles below the ocean near Australia, there is total darkness and crushing pressure. Along with that, there is the collection of some of the strangest creatures on this planet.

Scientists have not been able to explore these areas heavily, partly because some of these places are almost inhospitable for humans. The international team of scientists spent a month trawling the ocean bed, and findings are mindboggling and dramatic to the core. There has been striking evolution of these in the extreme environments.

The researchers have even possibly come across new fish and animals that have been living in depths lower than ever recorded. They pulled up more than a thousand sea creatures to be studied and catalogued in the coming months. However, even though humans have rarely gone to such depths, garbage definitely has. Scientists uncovered pounds and pounds of trash, which is alarming. Chief Scientist Tim O'Hara said that 100 kilometres off Australia’s sea coast, the team found debris from a time when steam ships used to ply the waters.

“We're 100 kilometres off Australia's coast, and have found PVC pipes, cans of paints, bottles, beer cans, wood chips, and other debris from the days when steamships plied our waters. The seafloor has 200 years of rubbish on it,” O'Hara said in a news release, reports The Washington Post.

Bringing these priceless sea creatures from the unknown depths of the ocean required highly advanced technologies. The team used multi-beam sonar to avoid the expensive equipment from crashing against the rocks. It was a slow and tedious process as lowering the equipment from a two-mile long rope took hours. Some of the creatures that literally took the scientists’ breath away were a spiny red crab, a cookie-cutter shark, the faceless fish and a phallic-looking peanut worm.

“Australia’s deep-sea environment is larger in size than the mainland, and until now, almost nothing was known about life on the abyssal plain. We’re really excited about the discoveries that we’ve made and are thrilled that we can now share them with the Australian and international public,” O'Hara told National Geographic.