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supergiant amphipod from Kermadec Trench

Superbug from the Deep

A researcher examines a supergiant amphipod (Alicella gigantea), a crustacean brought up in a fish trap from 7,200 meters (nearly 4-1/2 miles) deep in the Kermadec Trench. How this and other remarkable species survive in extreme pressure and total darkness is being studied by scientists on an NSF-funded cruise to learn more about life in the hadal zone, the part of the ocean greater than 6,000 meters deep. Chief scientist on the cruise, WHOI biologist Tim Shank, said, “As a species, if we’re going to think about life on this planet and what it takes for us to continue to survive here, we better understand the adaptations and novelties of life in trenches.” (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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