world largest siphonophore found

World’s Largest Siphonophore Found By Underwater Explorers

A siphonophore, 150-foot-long, translucent, stringy creature that looks like a coral has been found by the underwater explorers in a submarine canyon off the coast of Australia. They said the creature seems to be the largest animal ever discovered. The siphonophore was first introduced to the internet by Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI).

Siphonophores are made of many little zooids whose lives are more similar to animals we are familiar with. According to a research article published in the journal Developmental Dynamics in 2005, zooids are born asexually, each performing a function for its’ larger body.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the zooids link together in long chains reaching lengths of up to 130 feet (40 m). The siphonophore is only as thick as a broomstick. But the creature isn’t, strictly speaking, one animal. Instead, it’s a genus of a siphonophore called Apolemia.

The Western Australian Museum researchers were on their one-month-long expedition of deep-sea canyons off Western Australia’s Ningaloo coast onboard SOI’s research vessel Falkor, when they found world’s largest siphonophore. The researchers also discovered 30 new species of marine life in addition to the siphonophore.

The SOI co-founder Wendy Schmidt said there

is so much we don’t know about the deep sea and countless species never seen before. What happens in the deep sea affects life on land. Research is crucial to understand the connection and importance of protecting these ecosystems, he added.

The Ningaloo Canyons are just one of many vast underwater wonders we are about to discover that can help us better understand our planet.”

Rebecca Helm, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville who was not involved in the expedition that found world’s largest siphonophore said she has seen siphonophores of about 20 centimeters to one meter, but never seen this large and one that hunts in such a remarkable way by making it to spiral to hunt.