London: A British expedition has discovered an enormous species of crustacean that looks like a prawn and is 11 inches long, Daily Mail reported Thursday.
The so-called 'supergiant' - a type of amphipod - was discovered more than four miles below the surface in waters north of New Zealand.
Most amphipods are usually 0.8in-1.2in long. But the new specimen, found by a team from the University of Aberdeen, was 10 times the size, the newspaper said.
Using submergence cameras and a large trap designed by the university's Oceanlab, the crew was able to explore to depths of six miles.
They were hoping to find specimens of deep-sea snailfish, which have been photographed before but have not been seen since the 1950s.
Expedition leader Alan Jamieson said: "The moment the traps came on deck, we were elated at the sight of the snailfish as we have been after these fish for years.
"However, seconds later I stopped and thought 'What on earth is that?' whilst catching a glimpse of an amphipod far bigger than I ever thought possible.
"It's a bit like finding a foot-long cockroach."
First Published: Friday, February 03, 2012, 00:15