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Nereus lost – meanwhile, somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, these little fish are chuckling…


There are times, every so often, when we look at this world and marvel at how things work. Take for example this report from last week, which demonstrates how precariously we perch on this little bit of rock, when compared to some of our other fellow inhabitants.

Do you see that impressive yellow underwater craft top left above? That’s the Nereus, an $8 million, 2,800 kg robotic vessel designed to explore the deepest parts of our oceans. Places where we find it almost impossible to go in the flesh, say around 6 miles down under the waves.

Last week it imploded and was totally lost during one of those deep sea dives. It was six years old and was on a 40 day expedition to survey a deep ocean trench just north of New Zealand. The report says it probably failed under a pressure of around 16,000 lbs per square inch.


The little fish? If you watch the video below, you will see a shoal of about 17 of them, catchily named Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis or Hadal Snailfish, happily wriggling about scratching out food like any other fish on the planet. Except these little 30 cm long critters are living at a depth of nearly 5 miles down in a trench south of Tokyo. We find that more than a little mind-blowing.


We spend millions of dollars building a vessel out of state of the art materials, equipped with the finest, strongest technology we can devise, and it manages to survive for a scant six years before succumbing to the forces of nature. These fish? It’s no big deal, so where’s lunch? It’s definitely a weird – and somewhat humbling – world all right.

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