Discovery made alongside rare goblin shark sparking excitement
Scientists are still shocked about the rare goblin shark pulled out of the Gulf the other week, but it's not just the shark that has scientists so excited.
Lying among a pile of shrimp are several large isopods, leading researchers to believe that the fisherman may have stumbled upon a small ecosystem.
While giant isopods, which are similar to shrimp or crabs, aren't rare, what's interesting is the amount of isopods that were caught in one net.
In an email to Chron, marine biologist Andrew Thaler said, "They're usually spread pretty thin and only occur in abundance around a food source. So, I hypothesized that the trawl might have passed over a whalefall, which would also explain the goblin shark."
A whale fall is exactly what it sounds like -- where a whale falls after it dies. Deep sea organisms are able to feed off of a decaying whale for up to a decade.
And there's a reason why this is exciting.Chron.com notes that, 'back in 2007, a new species of sea anemone was discovered living among the bones of a whale found off the coast of Monterey, California, according to Livescience.com.'
Thaler tweeted, "I'll bet you all my Star Wars cards that, if you run [a remotely operated vehicle] along that trawl line, you'll find a huge carcass."