Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Scientists just found an underwater 'headless chicken monster'

Scientists just found an underwater 'headless chicken monster'

A weird, rarely seen creature has been spotted swimming gracefully above the seabed off the coast of East Antarctica.

You've seen the backwards-walking spider crustaceans, you've seen the faceless fish and the super-questionable peanut worm.

The unusual creature-technically a deep-sea sea cucumber (Enypniastes eximia)-was previously recorded past year in the Gulf of Mexico, a long way from east Antarctica.

A headless chicken monster, a type of sea cucumber, has been filmed for the first time in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.

In truth, it is neither a chicken nor a monster.

What looks like a decapitated chicken "flying" through the frigid waters of Antarctica is in fact an active sea cucumber.

"Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking", said Dirk Welsford, Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader.

The so-called headless chicken monster, previously found only in the Gulf of Mexico, was recently detected by scientists with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), part of the Australian Department of the Environment dedicated to investigating Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

The footage is being used to widen the scope of marine conservation efforts in the Antarctic, as well as grossing out landlubbers everywhere.

Other CCAMLR nations-specifically Chile, France, and the UK-are also using the "extremely durable" devices, according to Welsford, who called them "a really simple and practical solution ... directly contributing to improving sustainable fishing practices".

Researchers say it can help determine which areas of the sea floor can withstand long-line fishing and which areas should be avoided.

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