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Snailfish swimming in the ocean.
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Scientists recently released footage of the deepest fish ever filmed off the coast of Japan—cruising along at more than 27,000 feet, almost five miles, below the surface! The record-earning fish is a young snailfish.

Snailfish are long and GELATINOUS with scaleless skin, tiny eyes, and translucent bodies. They live in oceans around the world and can be found in both shallow and deep waters.

Scientists from the University of Western Australia and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology filmed the snailfish last September using deep-sea robots dropped over the side of a ship. They attached bait to the cameras to attract the snailfish, who was filmed in a deep trench, just above the seabed in the Pacific Ocean. The captured footage was part of a 10-year project to study the world’s deepest fish populations.

“What is significant is that it shows how far a particular type of fish will descend in the ocean,” Alan Jamieson, a deep-sea scientist who led the expedition, told CNN. “The Japanese trenches were incredible places to explore; they are so rich in life, even all the way at the bottom.”

Previously, the deepest snailfish spotted was seen at just below 25,000 feet. Jamieson and his colleagues do not expect to find fish much deeper than the recently-set record. This is partly due to the crushing pressure that deep in the ocean. The pressure is 800 times higher than it is at the ocean’s surface!

Like many animals found in extreme conditions, snailfish have adapted to survive at the deep depths. They lack a swim bladder, which is a gas-filled organ in the fish’s body allowing them to control their buoyancy. Jamieson said younger deep sea snailfish often stay as deep as possible to avoid being eaten by bigger predators swimming in shallower water.

Shortly after setting the record for filming the deepest snailfish, the scientists set another record for the deepest catch as well, catching two other fish at a little over 26,000 feet.

Smokey the Bear wearing his yellow hat and holding a shovel.‘May’ Families Enjoy Our Forests Safely!

As summer approaches, temps are heating up; the last days of school are here, and the mountains are a great family escape! People who look after our cool, beautiful forests want you to enjoy your time up there safely.

The good news is that above average winter and spring rains and snow have helped turn our mountains green and there’s still snowpack in many of the mountains around Arizona. As this snowpack melts, it helps keep the soil moist and plants green.

“Right now we’re in a good place. It’s still very green out there, but come June and July, it’s definitely going to start drying up, and we’re going to see a lot more of those Red Flag Days,” says Starr Farrell, a public affairs officer with the National Forest Service.

The Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings when it’s hot and dry and when high winds increase the fire danger. Officials still want families to escape the heat and enjoy our National Forests and state parks.

“Come on out; be ready for it (pack enough water, food, a first aid kit, etc.); enjoy your campfire; have a great time—we want you to have that bonding experience and a memory that you’ll keep forever,” Farrell emphasizes. “And then, as soon as you’re done, put some buckets of water on there; give it that mix to make sure there are no hot coals. You never want to leave that campfire until you’ve done that.”

If you’re there for just a day trip, she says you might be better off skipping the campfire, “unless you’re in an established barbecue area, and then you can bring those barbecue briquettes. Keep it to that confined area that’s designed to have the hot coals,” she points out. For overnight campers, “don’t forget the s’mores—you’ve gotta have s’mores!” Farrell says.

May used to be the start of wildfire season in Arizona, but after decades of drought, Farrell says that wildfire season is year round now. Firefighting teams are already fighting a few wildfires around our state.

Part of being ready for your family EXCURSION is knowing what conditions to expect. For the Tonto National Forest, check out There are also signs that will tell you about the current fire danger level for that area.

“It’s just all of us doing our part to make sure we’re not creating any additional sparks or potential for wildfires,” Farrell encourages.


May 2023