Siphonophore: Longest stringy sea species discovered in Indian Ocean
Australia : The scientists have spotted the longest animal ever recorded during their expedition exploring the submarine canyons near Ningaloo in the Indian Ocean.
It is no ordinary animal. It is a massive gelatinous string siphonophore — a floating colony of tiny individual zooids that clone themselves thousands of times into specialised bodies that string together to work as a team – estimated to be 150-foot long (45.72 metre), US-based philanthropic non-profit Schmidt Ocean Institute said on Thursday.
Also known as "long stringy stringy thingy", they appear to be one long species however, in reality they are a colony of small species joined to form a long species.
"We suspected these deep sea areas would be diverse but we have been blown away by the significance of what we have seen," said scientist Nerida Wilson from Western Australian Museum.
This happens to be one of the unique findings among one of the deepest fish and marine invertebrates ever recorded for Western Australia.
Other than this, the researchers from Western Australian Museum have also discovered 30 other underwater species in the Indian ocean.
The scientists from the Western Australian Museum were joined by researchers from Curtin University, Geoscience Australia and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in exploring the Ningaloo Canyons in the Indian Ocean. Using an underwater robot, ROV SuBastian, they completed 20 dives at depths of up to 4,500 metres over 181 hours of exploration.
The expedition is part of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s year-long initiative in Australia and the Pacific to conduct a number of science and engineering expeditions with teams of scientists and researchers from around the world.
The main aim is to use the footage and samples collected in protecting these underwater ecosystems. Such ecosystems across the world are facing danger due to rising ocean temperatures.