This Freaky Swirling Thing Under the Sea is the World’s Longest Animal
An alien-like creature was recently recorded on video swirling in the depths of the sea in Australia, a country notorious for being home to some of the planet’s weirdest creatures. The creature measures an estimated 45 meters (over 150 feet), which is the height of a 15-storey building. In comparison, the blue whale, which is the world’s largest animal, has an average length of 30 meters (100 meters) or the height of a 10-storey building.
“It’s just magic being there and sharing those things for the first time,” Dr. Wilson said.#NingalooCanyons expedition in @nytimes: https://t.co/oqBlkkncaG— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) April 14, 2020
With collaborators @WAMuseum @CurtinUni @GeoscienceAus @Scripps_Ocean @WAMSInews pic.twitter.com/taOfyGOhwy
The creature caught on video is called a siphonophore, which is made of individual zooids, which are living creatures in their own right, which makes it even weirder.
A siphonophore may appear to be a single creature but is actually composed of a colony of organisms, which means their length or sizes can have no limit. There are at least 175 known species of siphonophores in the world.
Scientists from the Western Australia Museum, Curtin University in Perth, Geoscience Australia, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute found the creature happily swirling in the depths off the coast of Australia.
The video was shot using a robot submarine called SuBastian, which was built to study coral reefs and underwater canyons.