While most of the world is staying at home because of the new coronavirus outbreak, other people have to take the risk and explore the world. However, science deserves many efforts, and researchers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor are studying the Ningaloo Canyons off the western coast of Australia.
While the Earth environment is at least surprising as the number of pranks someone could throw at a birthday party, the scientists found under the waters something that blew their minds: a very long ocean creature called a siphonophore.
The largest siphonophore ever recorded
The creatures’ size baffled the minds of the researchers. The Twitter account Schmidt Ocean spoke about the discovery, saying that there never was found a bigger siphonophore than this one:
Check out this beautiful *giant* siphonophore Apolemia recorded on #NingalooCanyons expedition. It seems likely that this specimen is the largest ever recorded, and in strange UFO-like feeding posture. Thanks @Caseywdunn for info @wamuseum @GeoscienceAus @CurtinUni @Scripps_Ocean pic.twitter.com/QirkIWDu6S
— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) April 6, 2020
Siphonophores belong to the Cnidaria, which is a group of animals that include hydroids, the corals, and true jellyfish. There are about 175 species, and some siphonophores are the longest animals on the planet. But just how long is the mysterious newfound siphonophore? Well, it’s estimated that its length has a staggering 15 meters in diameter.
Rebecca Helm, a marine biologist from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, also confirmed that scientists didn’t see anything like this creature before:
“It’s made of millions of interconnected clones, like if the Borg and the Clone Wars had a baby together. There are about a dozen different jobs a clone can do in the colony, and each clone is specialized to a particular task,”
It’s obvious that the marine world hosts a huge variety of wonders when it comes to life forms, and we’re lucky to witness how scientists are struggling to explore it as much as possible. New discoveries should be unveiled soon because nature seems to have endless possibilities.