A video of the swimming sea cucumber has gone viral on social media
Australian researches announced on Sunday that they had filmed a video of a "headless chicken monster" swimming in the Antarctic Ocean. The "monster" – actually a swimming sea cucumber scientifically known as Enypniastes eximia – was filmed using new underwater camera technology, said the Australian Antarctic Division in a statement. It was filmed in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.
This is the first time that this marine animal has been sighted in Southern Ocean waters, and it has only ever been filmed once before in the Gulf of Mexico.
The video, shared on Twitter and Facebook, shows the bizarre creature flapping its wing-like fins and appearing to crawl across the ocean floor. Since being shared online two days ago, the rare footage has gone viral with over 6.5 lakh views on Twitter alone, and another 15,000 on Facebook.
Behold the majestic "headless chicken monster" or Enypniasties eximia, spotted recently in the Southern Ocean for the first time on an Australian fisheries camera. https://t.co/jQHv5L0uE3pic.twitter.com/ZeChEiivCy
– Antarctic Division (@AusAntarctic) October 20, 2018
People have reacted to the video with a mixture of horror and wonder:
Wow that's crazy! I wonder what else is down there
– Lisa (@sun_shower) October 22, 2018
– Ken Reid (@KennethWReid) October 22, 2018
We think we know so much but here is something we would have imagined lived on another planet. But it's been here all this time under our noses. Nature can be strange.
– Matthew Paul (@unchainedcamera) October 22, 2018
According to NBC News, sea cucumbers are echinoderms, a phylum of invertebrate marine animals that includes starfish and sea urchins. They are generally ocean-floor dwellers and feed on tiny particles like algae.
"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," says Dr Dirk Welsford, program leader for the Australian Antarctic Division.
"The cameras are providing important information about areas of sea floor that can withstand this type of fishing, and sensitive areas that should be avoided."
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