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Enter the Twilight Zone
4th June 2018

By Sandra Pearce

Scientists have identified a newly named rariphotic zone, a layer of ocean between depths of 130 and 300m (400 and 1,000ft) off the coast of Curaçao in the Caribbean, which they say is teeming with previously unknown fish.

 
So far, researchers have observed around 4,500 rariphotic fish representing 71 different species, according to the journal Scientific Reports. 
 
Most of them are closely related to fish swimming in the reef above. Exploring a deep-reef area of just 0.2sq km, the researchers discovered six new genera and around 30 new species of fish and invertebrates.
 
“About one in every five fish we’re finding in the rariphotic of the Caribbean is a new species,” said Ross Robertson, a marine biologist at STRI and co-author of a new study describing the zone and its inhabitants.