NYE COUNTY, NV (KLAS) — One of the world’s rarest fishes lives in the sunbaked Mojave Desert near Death Valley in a natural water-filled cavern called the Devils Hole. The rare fish is simply named the Devils Hole pupfish and it is making a dramatic comeback.

Devils Hole is a detached part of Death Valley National Park adjacent to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in the Amargosa Valley in Nye County, Nev.

The tiny fish live in the top 80 feet of the underwater cavern where the sun and hot desert temperatures keep the water at a higher temperature.

Scientists counted 175 Devils Hole pupfish, which is the most they’ve observed in a spring count in 22 years. (Photo: National Park Service)

During an annual survey of the pupfish population in the Devils Hole, scientists observed 175 pupfish, making this the highest count in 22 years.

According to the National Park Service, “Population size is estimated by counting fish throughout its habitat, with standard counting protocols. Scientists SCUBA dive to count fish in the cavern, starting at depths below 100 feet. Simultaneously, other scientists count fish on the shallow shelf at the waters’ surface. The final count includes both surface and underwater fish.”

Scientists counted 175 Devils Hole pupfish, which is the most they’ve observed in a spring count in 22 years. (Photo: National Park Service)

Prior to the 1990s, scientists counted around 200 pupfish only to see their population dwindle to 90 in recent years.