Tech by VICE

This Deep-Sea Creature is Creepy As Hell

Called a siphonophore, it’s actually a colony of smaller organisms.

by Rachel Pick
Aug 12 2015, 5:20pm

Screenshot: New Scientist/YouTube

A remotely operated underwater vehicle owned by BP was doing a routine check near one of its rigs off the coast of Angola when it stumbled across a giant glob of No Thank You.

The BP team nicknamed the organism "flying spaghetti monster," but this alien-like life form is actually a colony of individual organisms called a siphonophore—specifically, this specimen is a Bathyphysa conifera. Each zooid (an individual animal that is part of a colony) in the siphonophore has a specialized function, to the point that the zooids cannot survive on their own—kind of like the Borg.

Siphonophores are among the longest animals on Earth, with specimens up to 40 meters long, and subsist at depths of over 3,000 feet. Appearance and behavior across the order is highly variable, with some species able to emit light, and others with jellyfish-style stinging cells.

This is why we should fear and respect the ocean. Who knows what else is down there?