Scientists have discovered a new species with 20 arms that looks like an alien straight out of the movies lurking deep in the ice cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
That’s not an exaggeration either. This thing would fit perfectly into any of the Alien films.
The creature is an Antarctic feather star, which is not new. What is new is the fact that instead of there being only one species of Antarctic feather star, as was thought prior, there are actually at least eight different species of the crinoid.
Dubbed the Antarctic strawberry feather star (Promachocrinus fragarius), this new species lives anywhere from 330 to 3,300 feet below the surface of the water.
Live Science reports…
The Antarctic strawberry feather star gets its name from the strawberry-like nub on its body, from which stringlike appendages called cirri protrude anchor the animal to the seafloor. When feather stars take flight, they spread their arms wide and paddle with rhythmic pulses, dancing through the water and capturing plankton with thousands of tiny, mucousy filaments along their arms.
Crinoids like these dominated the young seas of our planet, but they were largely wiped out — along with 95% of life on Earth — during the Permian mass extinction roughly 251 million years ago.
In the journal Invertebrate Systematics, the researchers stated, “The vast nature of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystem dictates large scale sampling to understand the full extent of the biodiversity.”
This is just latest in a slew of new species that have been discovered underwater this year.
In May, scientists discovered over 5,000 never-before-seen species deep in the Pacific Ocean. It is believed that there could still be another 6,000 to 8,000 more unknown species present at that location.
And earlier this month, an underworld hidden beneath the seafloor filled with never-before-seen life was discovered on the East Pacific Rise off Central America.