What Creatures Live in the Hadalpelagic Zone?

Updated February 21, 2017

The Hadalpelagic Zone is the deepest portion of the ocean, extending from just over 19,000 feet deep to the ocean's floor. The pressure is so great at those depths that the National Geographic News website compares it to the weight of 50 jumbo jets piled on top of you. Despite this enormous pressure and a shortage of oxygen, there is still plenty of thriving life in these dark reaches of the sea.


Starfish are not actually fish, but they do live in all of the ocean's zones and can even survive out of water for a short period of time. The starfish, or sea star, has a disc-shaped body with five rays or arms coming out from the centre to give it a star shape. The starfish scurries along the bottom of the ocean slowly and cannot swim through open sea. It dwells on the floor of the ocean, no matter how deep it happens to be--this includes in the Hadalpelagic Zone.

The starfish see from eyes located at the end of their arms, which help them locate food. They do not have blood in their bodies, but instead filter the ocean's water through their bodies to survive. They have the ability to regenerate lost limbs as well as a means of defence and survival.


Foraminifera are not an impressive sight. In fact, you aren't likely to see them at all with the naked eye. However, these single-celled protists are living creatures that exist in the deepest zone of the ocean.

There are about 4,000 species of foraminifera, according to Most of them live in the Hadalpelagic Zone. Scientists discovered 432 species of the protists living in the Challenger Deep, which is the deepest area of the Marianna Trench--the deepest point anywhere in the ocean.


Tubeworms are sometimes described as looking like lipstick. The brightly coloured worms protrude from a tough tube made of a material called chitin, according to the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment website.

These worms begin life with a developed mouth and stomach. They gather chemicals that are emitted from the hydrothermal vents in the trenches, and through a conversion process known as chemosynthesis they create food by using a symbiotic process along with the bacteria that live inside the worm's body. Over time the worm loses its mouth and stomach features but continues to grow and thrive.

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About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.