It's understandable that a fish in the deepest spot on Earth would escape human notice for millennia. How a great ape managed the same feat is less clear, though both are now included in a list of the top 10 of 18,000 new species discovered over the past year. "I'm constantly amazed at how many new species show up and the range of things that are discovered," says Quentin Wheeler, president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, which compiled the 11th annual list, though he notes 20,000 species go extinct each year, per CNN. In fact, one species included in the list is already extinct, and several others are critically endangered.
- Pongo tapanuliensis: Estimated to number 800, the orangutan found hiding in the forests of North Sumatra is the most endangered great ape in the world, per the CBC.
- Thiolava veneris: Found covering the summit of a Canary Islands volcano, this proteobacteria produces white filaments resembling hairs.
- Ancoracysta twista: Twisting as it swims, this single-celled organism, discovered in a San Diego aquarium, includes a nucleus bound in a membrane.
- Dinizia jueirana-facao: The Atlantic forest tree, reaching 130 feet high in Brazil, is critically endangered, with only 25 known examples.
- Epimeria Quasimodo: Named for Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the hump-backed crustacean found in the Antarctic Ocean is just 2 inches long.
- Nymphister kronaueri: This tiny beetle easily hides among army ants in Costa Rica because its body is the same size, shape, and color.
- Pseudoliparis swirei: A resident of the Mariana Trench, the snailfish roaming 22,000 to 26,000 feet below the ocean surface is the deepest confirmed fish in the sea, reports CNN.
- Sciaphila sugimotoi: Found on Japan's Ishigaki Island, the flower feeds off a fungus, rather than the sun, per the Los Angeles Times. It's critically endangered, with just 50 known to exist.
- Wakaleo schouteni: Identified through fossils, this forest-dwelling marsupial lion would've weighed 50 pounds before going extinct in Australia millions of years ago.
- Xuedytes bellus: Just half an inch long, this Chinese cave beetle has spiderlike legs and no eyes.
Another recent discovery: a new species of octopus
. (Read more new species