Discovered during a series of 15 Scottish marine excavations in 2011, covering roughly 2,000 square miles (5,000 square km), a brainless and faceless fish (pictured above) was found off the waters of Tankerness in Orkney. The fish has a nerve cord running down its back and is thought to be a representative of the first animals to evolve a backbone.
Also discovered around the Small Isles were the largest sea shells in Scotland. These giant mussels, called Fan Mussels, have shells measuring up to 18 inches (46 cm) around and have golden threads similar to human hair so fine that they are able to attach to a single grain of sand. In total, over 100 specimens were found around the islands.
The Scottish government has a lot to celebrate with these amazing finds, which will further the country’s knowledge of the biodiversity of its seas. In an age where so much of the land mass has been explored, it is thrilling to continue to find such diverse creatures.