The NOC's Daniel Jones identified this bizarre looking marine creature as a Siphonophore. It belongs to a group of aquatic animals that include corals and jellyfish, some specimens have reached lengths of 40m!
Filmed by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 1325m off the Angola coast it was nicknamed the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' before Daniel and Dr Philip Pugh, working collaboratively on the SERPENT project, identified it as a specimen of Bathyphysa conifera.
Daniel has been amazed by the media reaction, "this unusual creature has sparked a huge reaction on the internet with over a quarter of a million people watching the video over the last week! The video was sent to me by oil industry ROV pilots through the SERPENT network. It is a great example of how collaboration with industry can allow us to see much more of the deep sea and its strange and wonderful marine life.”
SERPENT is a collaborative project of ROV operators researching the exciting undersea environment through unique and innovative deep sea exploration. You can watch the siphonophore on the SERPENT YouTube channel or via the New Scientist article.
Image : SERPENT Project © 2003 - 2015