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At 2,750 meters in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: an odd transparent sea cucumber, Enypniastes, creeping forward on its many tentacles at about 2 cm per minute while sweeping detritus-rich sediment into its mouth.

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At 2,000 to 2,500 meters: A bizarre, elongated orange animal identified as Neocyema. Only the fifth specimen of the fish ever caught and never before on the mid-Atlantic Ridge.

David Shale/2009©David Shale

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At 1,700 to 4,300 metres: Coryphaenoides brevibarbis, with tiny bones in its ear, known as otoliths, that have growth bands countable like tree rings to reveal the fish’s age. Comparison of age with size shows its growth rate and thus the amount of food in the neighborhood. Called the rat-tail, the fish lives on crustaceans it catches just above the seafloor.

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Abundant colourful coral below 1,000 meters.

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'Dumbo' octopus (Grimpoteuthis sp.)

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