Via BBC Two: What you see below isn’t an artificial tube or pipeline laid down at the bottom of the sea. It is an extremely rare kind of sea creature called a Pyrosome.
They are such a rare kind of species that they have only been spotted a handful of times in entire history. As you see these crazy creatures swimming around, you can’t help but wonder why don’t we come across them more often? They are simply too huge to be that stealthy! Here ar some more pictures and interesting facts about these elusive sea creatures:
They are essentially hollow tubes that are open at one end and closed at the other.
But, they aren’t just one single organism. They are actually numbers of animals weaving tissues that form these absurdly long tubes. They are identical and called Zooids.
This Pyrosome was found drifting in the depths along the coast of Tasmania, Australia. Michael Baron discovered it and was able o capture some stunning photographs.
These gain colonies of living animals start out as a solitary zooid. As they reproduce and make more copies, it becomes bigger and bigger. The eventual size depends on the species, and there are only a few that grow this long!
The individual animal is minuscule, even smaller than a regular jelly bean. They join with a gelatinous tunic. Despite how large they seem, rarely some of them surpass the length of a whale.
Although they are pretty dormant and harmless creature just like any large Ocean animal, don’t swim close to one. The Eagle Hawk Drive that Michael belonged to found a dead penguin inside. It wasn’t killed by the pyrosome, rather it got stuck in it and eventually drowned!
Zooids, just like whales survive on microscopic plankton and filtering water through their walls.
Used water is released from the open hole at the other end. This communal squirt is enough to create some thrust, but they aren’t able to adequately control their movements, relying instead on oceanic currents.
They are also visible from a great distance due to their bioluminescent qualities. They can cast their light in a variety of shades that are breathtaking to look at too.
Once you get used to their abnormal size, you will appreciate their beauty and outlook in the endless depths of the sea. They are quite fluffy and soft to touch. They also don’t react to any physical touch as they don’t have that kind of reactionary mechanisms at all. Its feel greatly resembles that of a jelly-type creature.
Here is a video
Who wants one for their pool now that we’ve established that they are harmless and quite cuddly?
Sources: BBC, Blennywatcher.com, BBC