'Headless chicken monster' spotted off Antarctic coast for first time

That’s clucking strange!

A bizarre sea creature known colloquially as the “headless chicken monster” has been photographed in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.

The “headless chicken monster” is actually a deep-sea swimming cucumber that was previously filmed only once before, in the Gulf of Mexico, according to ABC7.

Although most species of sea cucumbers are stuck on the sea floor, the “headless chicken monster” has developed webbed, veil-like body parts that allow it to swim through the ocean.

Although this species of sea cucumber, Enypniastes eximia, is also known as the “Spanish dancer,” it doesn’t do much dancing. 

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Sea cucumber known as the 'headless chicken monster'
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Sea cucumber known as the 'headless chicken monster'
Enipniastes eximia, the "headless chicken monster" (Photo: NOAA)
Two of the underwater cameras developed to enhance the sustainability of long line fishing in the Southern Ocean. (Photo: Jessica Fitzpatrick)
Australian Antarctic Division Fisheries Technician, Tim Lamb, works on an underwater camera. (Photo: Jessica Fitzpatrick)
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Instead, it feasts on organic material found on the ocean floor by “walking” along the bottom and using its tentacles to grab food.

In addition to being headless, the chicken monster is mostly transparent, so people can see the food working its way through its intestines, according to The Washington Post.

Aussie researchers filmed this particular “headless chicken monster” two miles beneath the surface of the ocean using a specially built camera.

“We needed something that could be thrown from the side of a boat and would continue operating reliably under extreme pressure in the pitch black for long periods of time,” Australian Antarctic Division program leader Dirk Welsford told the Post. “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.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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