Monday, 1 December 2014

14 Weirdest Animals Filmed by E/V Nautilus

Weird, spaceship like medusa
Alien spaceship moments before landing? Nah, just an unknown Medusa
filmed by E/V Nautilus

The Exporation Vessel (E/V) Nautilus is a 64-meter research vessel that has one simple goal. To explore the world's oceans! With the help of Hercules, Argus, Diana and other remotely operated vehicles, the crew continuously makes new contributions on biology, geology, archeology, and other sciences.

During its journeys, the Nautilus has run into numerous strange and rare aquatic animals. Some are known while others have yet to be described. Here is a list of 14 of the weirdest creatures the crew has recorded:

1. Vampire Squid

The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) is  a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Contrary to what its common name suggests, it doesn't drink blood. It's named this way because of its deeply colored body and red eyes.

2. Giant Isopod With Skate

An unexpected friendship between a skate and a giant isopod! Giant isopods are a prime example of deep-sea gigantism. Today there are about 20 recognized giant isopod species. The largest is  Bathynomus giganteus, with a maximum weight and length of at least 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lb) and 76 cm.

3. Cute Bobtail Squid

Despite the name, bobtail squids (order: Sepiolida) are more closely related to cuttlefish. There are about 70 known species. This one is rather cute! Their beautiful and unique colors is the result of a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri) which inhabit a special light organ in the squid's mantle. 

4. Phronima

Phronima is a genus of small, deepsea hyperiid amphipods of the family Phronimidae. Although commonly termed as parasites, they are technically parasitoids. Instead of feeding on a live host, females attack salps, using their mouths and claws to eat the animal and hollow out its gelatinous shell.

5. Floating Sea pig

Sea pigs (Genus: Scotoplanes) are deep sea creatures that are closely related with sea cucumbers. Currently there are 5 described species. They are usually found on the ocean floor, at depths of 1.000 meters or greater.

6. Scary Chimaera (Ghost Shark) with Parasites

Chimaeras are cartilaginous fishes in the order Chimaeriformes. They are commonly known as ghost sharks, ratfish, spookfish and rabbitfishes. Unfortunately, this poor guy is blind, thanks to parasites that feed on its eyes. 

7. Viperfish

Viperfish (Genus: Chauliodus) have long, needle-like teeth and hinged lower jaws. There are 9 recognized species, with Sloane's Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani) being the most popular. 

8. Tripod Fish

A fish with legs! Commonly known as the tripodfish or tripod spiderfish, Bathypterois grallator, is a deep-sea benthic fish in the Ipnopidae family. Even though the"legs" appear to be stiff, they are actually quite flexible.

9. Cuttlefish that changes color

A cuttlefish that changes colors to mimic the ocean bottom, as spotted in the Santorini Caldera in the Aegean Sea.

10. Abnormally Large Dumbo Octopus

To big for your taste?

Here's a smaller and cuter one...

11. Alien-like Medussa

 An unidentified, alien-like medussa gives a great show right along the seafloor. Simply amazing!

12. Amazing Sinophore (Erenna richardi)

We saw this weird, dagger-shaped creature a few days ago. It is a Siphonophore and although it appears to be a single organism, it's actually made of thousands of individual organisms. It's probably Erenna richardi or some other Erenna species.

13. Monkfish

Members of the genus Lophius are commonly called monkfish, fishing-frogs, frog-fish and sea-devils. Interestingly, these creatures have huge stomachs and can swallow prey as big as themselves.

14. Yellow Deep Sea Worm

No it's not a dissolved tennis ball! It's a Terebellid polychaete worm. These animals utilize their tentacles (the yellow stain in your monitor) to collect food particles from the ocean floor. Make sure you watch until 00:25! 

And some extras.....

1. 5 weirdest and coolest animals as chosen by the Nautilus Team

2. Wounded squid

ROV Hercules encounters a wounded squid on the Kazan Mud Volcano off the coast of Southern Turkey.

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