Nature & Environment
Mysterious 'sea blob' sighted after 100 years
By T.K. Randall
December 6, 2016 · 12 comments
A strange-looking invertebrate has been spotted by a deep-sea ROV over a century after its discovery.
With its translucent body and ethereal otherworldly appearance, Bathochordaeus charon
was first observed all the way back in 1899 by Prof Carl Chun of Leipzig University during an expedition to explore the depths of the South Atlantic.
Believing it to have originated from the bottom of the sea, he named it 'Charon' after the ferryman who in Greek mythology is tasked with transporting the souls of the deceased across the river Styx.
Further accounts of the creature however have been scarce with only a few being reported over the last century. Of those examined by scientists, none seemed to exactly match Chun's discovery.
Now though, Rob Sherlock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has finally managed to locate and even capture one off the coast of California using a remote-operated vehicle.
"Since the vehicle was recovered some tens of minutes later, the animal was alive, in fantastic shape, and we preserved it right away in order to send it to the Smithsonian," he said.
"We had no idea, until we looked more closely at the specimen, that we had actually found B. charon, the species first described over a hundred years ago."
"It felt like Chun had finally been vindicated after years of doubt."
Source: Live Science
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