A bizarre-looking fish from the deep dark sea has not only amused the researchers but also the social media users. A video of the creature recorded deep in the Southern Ocean near eastern Antarctica is going viral on the net.
Known as the headless chicken monster, this creature was spotted by the researchers of the Australian Antarctic Division. The chicken of the sea is a strange-looking fish of pinkish-red colour, that resembles a deskinned and decapitated chicken.
Many found the creature "strange" and "fascinating." However, the creature is neither an alien, not a monster. In fact, it belongs to the sea cucumber species and is scientifically known as Enypniastes eximia. Apparently, the creature was never spotted in the Southern Ocean.
"In the darkest ocean depths surrounding Antarctica lurks the majestic "headless chicken monster. This swimming sea cucumber, Enypniastes eximia, was first caught on film in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017," the Facebook page of the Australian research organisation wrote along with the video.
The researchers used a new underwater camera technology to spot the swimming sea cucumber, which they detected at a depth of a whopping 9,800 feet (3 kilometres) below sea level, AAD representatives said in a statement.
"Our researchers got a surprise recently when another one popped up on camera in the Southern Ocean for the first time. The cameras were designed in partnership with the commercial longline fishing industry to assist in fisheries management," it added.
In the video, the gelatinous creature can be seen swimming on the seabed while spreading its fin-like wings. The face of the fish is nothing but a hole that is circled but numerous tiny moving tentacles. Though the creature looks prettier from afar due to its striking colour, it is nothing less than creepy animal from a horror film, from a close look.
"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. Most importantly, the cameras are providing important information about areas of seafloor that can withstand this type of fishing, and sensitive areas that should be avoided," Dr Dirk Welsford, the leader of Australian Antarctic Division Program, said in a statement.
According to Extreme Marine UK, the fish distinctive bulbous barrel-shaped body with a large webbed vampiric veil which is made up of 12 conically shaped podia (feet)." Ranging from 6 to 20 cm in length, the E. eximia is a transparent creature whose "internal organs such as its coiled up intestine can be easily viewed through its body wall," says the marine research website.