ROV Submarine Eyes Alien Sea Creatures South of Hawaiian Islands

Using an ROV submarine a team aboard the EV Nautilus research ship has captured video of four strange, alien-looking sea creatures, including an “acorn worm” and a mysterious type of hydrozoan.

While geopolitics on the surface of Earth can feel overwhelming, the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean remain as tranquil(ish) as ever. In a new video researchers aboard the EV Nautilus—a 223-foot-long research vessel owned by the Ocean Exploration Trust—show four strange sea creatures just chillin’ around the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge due south of the Hawaiian Islands. The creatures, including an “acorn worm” and several other bottom-dwellers, are hopefully calming enough, or at least distracting enough, to give a few minutes of peace to anybody wrapped up in world events.

In the video above members of the “Kingman Reef & Palmyra” science expedition bring us footage of a mollusk, an anemone, an acorn worm, and an “unidentified gelatinous creature” the researchers have tentatively identified as a species belonging to the genus Aeginura. Members of Aeginura are hydrozoans; very small predatory creatures, some solitary and some colonial, that mostly inhabit the ocean.

“Whoa! Wow!” the researchers exclaim as they lay eyes on the “charismatic” gelatinous creature. Indeed, the undulating—pulsating!—translucent orb with pink innards and long spines for arms(?) mesmerizes as it swims through the lightless depths of the Pacific. At one point it even looks like the creature changes color to a sort of mustard yellow.

Image: EVNautilus

Next up the video showcases a “very wide” and “splatty” example of a sea anemone. The anemone—a predatory creature in the form of a single polyp attached to a hard surface or sediment—is indeed exceptionally flat. With its body’s numerous pointy limbs, the creature almost looks like a pale, stylized depiction of the Sun.

The strange mollusk is next, and looks like a wad of translucent snot clung to a rock, swaying in the current. Making the strange creature all the more disgusting is a sea bug (Polychaete) that’s either on or inside of it.

Image: EVNautilus

Finally, the researchers’ ROV sub spots an unidentified type of sea worm, which one member of the team notes is a “sediment deposit feeder.” Indeed, if you look close enough, you can see that the worm is undulating as it lies on the ocean floor “extracting all that nutritious organic material from the surface layer.” I.e. just ‘laxing and eating snacks.

Feature image: EVNautilus

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