Nature & Awareness

Strange ‘Headless Chicken Monster’ Found In Deep Sea That People Can’t Believe

Do you love chicken ? May be that’s useless question to be asked if you have been habitual to that. But that’s not the case because we have a chicken for you that can’t eat and surely don’t want to have that on your table. Here is why !

 

A “headless chicken monster” was spotted floating in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.

Australian researchers were able to film the monster — actually a deep-sea cucumber — for the first time in the region thanks to a new technology attached to toothfish longlines.

 

“Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world,” Australia’s CCAMLR Commissioner Gillian Slocum said in astatement.

The official name for this “monster” is Enypniastes eximia. It has only been caught on film once before, last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

“It looks a bit like a chicken just before you put it in oven,” Dirk Welsford, the program leader for the Australian Antarctic Division, told The New York Times. “From a research point of view, it’s very interesting, because no one has seen that species that far south before.”

Some people have welcomed their new “headless chicken monster” master.

In truth, it is neither a chicken nor a monster. It’s the swimming sea cucumber Enypniastes eximia, and scientists recently captured video of this bizarre, hen-mimicking swimmer in the Southern Ocean near eastern Antarctica, where it has never been seen before.

Footage shows the colorful sea cucumber drifting through the water; fins at the top and bottom of its tubby, translucent body almost resemble the stubby wings and legs on plucked, pink poultry ready for the pot. If you squint, you might think you’re looking at the result of an ill-fated tryst between a chicken and Aquaman.

Not everyone recognizes the gelatinous sea cucumber’s similarity to a chicken, though its appearance is undeniably peculiar. Photos of the crimson creature that were shared around the Live Science newsroom prompted comparisons to “a frilly pillow case,” “a bloody flying squirrel,” “a raw steak with fins” and “what you’d get if you asked a machine learning algorithm to make you a picture of a fish.”

The so-called headless chicken monster, previously found only in the Gulf of Mexico, was recently detected by scientists with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), part of the Australian Department of the Environment dedicated to investigating Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The researchers used new camera technology to detect the swimming sea cucumber at a depth of about 9,800 feet (3 kilometers) below sea level, AAD representatives said in a statement.

On average, E. eximia measures between 2 and 8 inches (6 to 20 centimeters) in length; adults’ colors can range from dark reddish brown to crimson, though juveniles are typically a paler shade of pink, according to a study published in 1990 in the journal Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences.

While most types of sea cucumbers spend the majority of their time on the sea bed, swimming sea cucumbers like E. eximia land only to feed, researchers reported in the 1990 study.

AAD camera designs expedition were deployed on fishing lines, according to a YouTube video the agency shared on Oct. 21. The equipment is durable enough to be tossed over the side of a boat and can operate reliably for extended periods of time in the total darkness and crushing pressures of the deep ocean, AAD program director Dirk Welsford said in the statement.

“Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world,” Welsford said.

In addition to offering glimpses of unusual marine life such asE. eximia, the new camera system reveals the complex interplay of life in Southern Ocean depths, Welsford said. It will help scientists to advise policy makers about conserving vulnerable ecosystems that are threatened by commercial fishing, Welsford explained.

Sea cucumbers are an important part of the marine ecosystem, but some are on the brink of extinction due to overfishing. Researchers hope the rare footage will help the push for the creation of a new Antarctic conservation zone.

The data collected will be presented at the annual Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting this week. It will also include proposals to improve the way CCAMLR responds to the impacts of climate change.

“The Southern Ocean is home to an incredible abundance and variety of marine life, including commercially sought-after species, the harvesting of which must be carefully managed for future generations,” Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader Dr. Dirk Welsford said.

 

SOURCE – Livescience

 

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