In the 1950s, the Danish Galathea Expedition undertook one of the first and most comprehensive explorations of our ocean’s hadal zone, depths extending from 6,000 to nearly 11,000 m, and presented a rich collection of the diversity of Amphipoda. The subsequent papers, however, concluded that these established ‘nothing essentially new’ to the existing knowledge of amphipod biology. Since Dahl’s foundational paper in 1959, amphipods, primarily from the superfamilies Lysianassoidea and Alicelloidea, emerged as one of the best-sampled hadal fauna, as these mobile invertebrates are readily recovered by different sampling techniques. Importantly, amphipods have become the model taxon, helping us to unlock knowledge about life in the hadal zone. In this review, we collate the knowledge gained since the Galathea Expedition and summarise the current understanding of how amphipods that appear during hadal exploration survive the trench environments. We discuss population structures across depth, inter-trench distribution and connectivity, applications in hadal microbiology, and, critically, how the hadal zone is being impacted by anthropogenic activity.