Underwater drone discovers dozens of new odd-looking deep sea creatures

China claims to have discovered more than 30 new deep sea creatures by using an underwater drone to explore of the darkest corners of the ocean.

Among the unusual never-before-seen species shown in video footage is a ‘ratfish’ which has big ears and – despite having eyes – is blind, said to use a lateral line to sense the change of current.

Later in the clip, a group of bright red deep sea shrimps move together across the illuminated and baited drone area and a cutthroat eel attempts to rip the meat away.

The species live in seamounts – ridges caused by underwater ‘mountains’ – as deep down as 5,000 metres below the ocean’s surface in dark and cold climates.

China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association chief scientist Wang Chunsheng said the creatures were filmed using a remotely-operated drone.

He said the robot technology had also enabled scientists to discover new life in previously unscoured parts of the ocean.

"In recent years, with the development of technology, we have generally found over 30 kinds of new species through the application of Jiaolong Submersible and underwater remotely-operated vehicle.

"We have a general idea of the biological diversity of seamounts, including the kinds of species that live there and how they are distributed.

"It provides a solid foundation for the protection of seamounts."

The video footage was released during a international conference hosted by COMRA the International Seabed Authority in Qingdao City on Monday.

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