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Picture: JOE ARMAO.
Some of the ugly characters that have been discovered lurking at the very bottom of the ocean.
Researchers trawling the Tasman Sea have dredged up a veritable freak show of bizarre deep-sea creatures, including hundreds of rare and new species.
Deep-sea sharks, stingrays, rattail fishes and invertebrates (creatures without backbones) are among species discovered, while blobfish, prickly dogfish, giant sea spiders and other things not on a fish'n'chip menu were also caught in the nets.
Scientists on the month-long Australian/New Zealand voyage, on the research ship Tangaroa, also found extinct volcanoes as they mapped the sea floor during the 10,000-kilometre trip.
"We know so little about the deep sea (but) two-thirds of the planet is ocean, and most of it is deep sea," said researcher Mark Norman, from Museum Victoria.