An "Alien-Like" Sea Creature Resembling Spaghetti Discovered in the Deep Sea
By: April Carson
A strange, lucent orange 'spaghetti-like' creature has recently made its viral entry in a video circulated on the web. This peculiar pom-pom-shaped sea dweller belongs to the genus of polychaetes which have been fittingly termed 'spaghetti worms'.
The specimen featured in the video was filmed at a depth of about 4,000 meters (13,123 ft) in the Mexican Pacific Ocean and is believed to be a new species yet to be discovered.
In 2012, while exploring the Gulf of California near Mexico's coastline, researchers from MBARI harnessed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to capture unprecedented footage of the pasta-mimicking worm. Its body was covered in hundreds of light-sensitive tentacles, which are considered to be its primary source of food as it scavenges on the seafloor.
This spaghetti worm has yet to be officially named, but it belongs to the genus Biremis. It is eyeless and uses its colorful tentacles to catch organic detritus, also known as marine snow, which it feeds on according to MBARI.
The Biremis worm is a unique species of spaghetti worm that stands out from the rest by living, not beneath the seafloor, but above it. Not only does this aquatic creature swim through the water in search of food sources with its noodle-like tentacles; it has been seen crawling along the ocean floor to find an area abundant with sustenance. This habit makes them, unlike any other type of spaghetti worm.
Back in 2003, a separate team of MBARI researchers identified an unknown species of spaghetti worm when they observed it within the Gulf of California through the usage of an ROV. Despite this designation over nineteen years ago, however, scientists are still aiding to determine and name said species.
There are still many mysteries surrounding this alien-like sea creature. For instance, researchers have found that the spaghetti worm “epitokes”—or larvae—have a much longer life cycle than previously thought (as much as two years).
Naming a species may look simple from the outside, however, it takes immense dedication and effort to accumulate specimens, inspect vital qualities, sequence DNA strands and assign them a scientific name - as representatives at MBARI have noted.
The depths at which this worm can remain are uncertain, yet a bulk of the detections have occurred below 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) according to MBARI research.
The mysterious spaghetti worm illuminates just how obtuse our knowledge is about oceanic creatures and the role they possess in their respective ecosystems. Further investigation of the depths of the sea, along with its inhabitants, is essential for conservation purposes, particularly as deep-sea environments are being desecrated by ruthless operations such as deep-sea mining or dragnet fishing - calamities that MBARI has reported on.
It is imperative to develop an understanding of the oceanic biosphere, as novel forms of life may be found in the process. The discovery of this alien-like spaghetti worm speaks volumes about the potential for new knowledge and the nature of exploration in our world's oceans.
MBARI representatives remarked that, without question, numerous more remarkable worms like Biremis are yet to be discovered in the ocean's unexplored depths.
This serves as a reminder that, even in our modern age, we are still far from fully understanding the mysteries and wonders of the deep blue. It is also a testament to the great importance of oceanographic research, as such efforts are vital in furthering our knowledge and appreciation of the world's oceans.
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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