Rarely seen bizarre sea creatures spotted by NOAA expedition
The NOAA Okeanos Explorer mission recently came across some extraordinary creatures in the aquatic environment of the Hawaiian Archipelago.
There was a free-swimming crinoid—stalks fluttering amidst the oceanic depths.
The snakelike ophidiid fish was there—billowing through the dark waters.
A siphonophore was also spotted. Though resembling a jellyfish, each one is actually a colony of animals called zooids.
There was an exceptionally small jelly—its few tentacles prompting a discussion on how the pretty little creature catches its prey.
Researchers were awestruck by an unusual polychaete worm that appeared to lack scales entirely. The animal may have never been seen before.
There was also the familiar face of a snail. Far from the garden variety, however, this snail performed some seriously adept acrobatics.
Spinning and swimming, flitting and floating, a scale worm explored a crater near a coral reef.
Arachnophobes look away. This sea spider was caught stalking across a large ridge—covered in white spots that may be snail eggs.
And then there was a squid. Its shimmering body awash in prismatic color. One eye looks sadly on as it travels past. Spotted nearly 3,000 feet below the surface, the species has never been seen at this depth before.