Galaxy-like Sea Creature Spotted in the Indian Ocean


Science | By Gigi Cummings | April 8, 2020

When we think about terrifying monsters, we often think of them as being space. Movies like Alien depict the horrors that await us in the unknown regions of space. The good thing is that we are very far from space, so none of those creatures will be getting us anytime soon.

The terrors of space may be far away, however, the sobering truth about the Earth is that the ocean is just as vast, unexplored, and full of terror as space. We haven't even explored much of the ocean, and since its creatures can flow freely, who knows which ones are evading our eyes.

The ocean is home to many creatures some would call unnatural. Their lives are nothing like the creatures who live on the surface. It leads to some very interesting evolutionary decisions. Don't believe me? Just check out this bizarre sea creature that looks like a galaxy floating in the water.

A 154 Feet Long Apolemia

A group of scientists were aboard a research vessel recently when they saw a sea creature with unbelievable qualities. They said it looks like silly string floating in the water, spiraling like a galaxy. The Schmidt Ocean Institute shared an incredible video of this creature called an Apolemia which is a type of siphonophore. They spotted it while on an expedition near Western Australia in the deep sea of the Ningaloo Canyons. It was taken not long on March 16th, 631 meters underwater during a month long expedition.

Since the Apolemia spirals, it is difficult to measure it, but using laser technology and a remotely operated vehicle, they are guessing it is 154 feet long. Carlie Wiener, the director of marine communications at Schmidt Ocean Institute, said, “we think it's the longest animal recorded to date.”

What Exactly is a Siphonophore?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute describes Siphonophores as predatory animals of the deep who are closely related to corals and jellyfish. They use a curtain of stingings cells to capture tiny prey like small fish and crustaceans. If that isn't weird enough, it is made of individual clone bodies that work together as a single organism.

In the Schmidt Ocean Institute's month long expedition, they estimate they have discovered up to 30 new species after completing 20 dives aboard their ship, Falkor. The co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Wendy Schmidt, said, “There is so much we don't know about the deep sea, and there are countless species never before seen. The Ningaloo Canyons are just one of many vast underwater wonders we are about to discover that can help us better understand our planet.”

This Apolemia Could Be Hundreds of Years Old

The Schmidt Ocean Institute has also been doing their part during the Coronavirus. According to Weiner, the team has been doing live streams to kids so that they can have educational content from their homes during quarantine. "The ability to continue to do science and bring remarkable footage and something really positive to the world has been really nice.”

Rebecca Helm studies jellyfish at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She saw the video on Twitter and helped people understand why finding Apolemia is so important. "I've gone on numerous expeditions and have never, EVER, seen anything like this. THIS animal is massive. AND not just massive, the colony is exhibiting a stunning behavior: it's hunting." Helm even believes that this particular Apolemia could be tens if not hundreds of years old. It goes to show you just how little we know about what lurks beneath the water.

Did You Know...

I

When you fly by private jet charter, you experience travel comfort known only to those who know private jets. And nothing illustrates this luxury better than celebrity private jets. Stars with their own private aircraft fly fancy.

II

John Travolta, the star of 70s cult movies like “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, is not only one of the most famous Hollywood actors, but also one of the best celebrity pilots. John Travolta is a bonafide aviation enthusiast with five private planes total, which he parks on his front lawn. His most impressive aircraft is a customized Boeing 707-138 (as pictured above), a beast of a plane that he acquired in 1998 upon his promotion to an honorary pilot of Qantas, the Australian airline.

III

Oprah Winfrey’s production company HARPO bought her custom-built Global Express XRS VIP business jet to provide the media mogul and her associates with maximum aviation comfort. Oprah’s private jet features designer fixtures in the bathroom and galley, along with an exquisite all-leather interior. The aircraft was designed by Bombardier Aerospace to perform as a premier long-range business jet. Custom design allowed for an enhanced cabin layout with nine cushy leather seats, aesthetically-placed lighting, and additional luxury amenities. The jet cruises through the air at high speeds, made possible by two Rolls-Royce BR710 turbofan engines, which produce enough power to send HARPO clear across the map with only one refuel stop

IV

Tom Cruise played an elite naval fighter jet pilot in the blockbuster movie “Top Gun”, and he now indulges his real love for flying in his own Gulfstream IV, one of the finest celebrity private jets around. Cruise’s beautiful business jet accommodates up to 19 passengers, providing comfort and class with state-of-the-art furnishings and aircraft technology. The jet even automatically refreshes the air inside the cabin every two minutes. Designed by Gulfstream Aerospace, Cruise’s jet is powered by two Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engines, propelling the aircraft to a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet over a maximum range of 7,820 km, zipping through the air at speeds up to Mach 0.80.

V

Mark Cuban, business mogul and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, landed himself in the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing his Boeing 767-277 online in 1999, making “the largest single e-commerce transaction”. Cuban modified the jet with large, custom seats to give his team’s lengthy players plenty of room while flying.


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