Mysterious 150-foot deep sea creature is actually millions of tiny clones

Footage of a mysterious creature has been captured by underwater researchers below the waves off the west coast of Australia.

Known as a siphonophore Apolemia, the string-like creature is huge, measuring well over 150 feet. But not all is as it seems.

The siphonophore is actually made up of thousands of small clones called siphonophores that resemble jellyfish.

This particular specimen was picked up by a research vessel from the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SCI) that was patrolling a deep-sea environment known as the Ningaloo Canyons. The team behind the discovery say it is the largest specimen ever discovered.

The team aboard the vessel estimated the siphonophore’s outer ring measured 49 feet in diameter, which they reckon means the the whole organism is about 154 feet long. To put that in context, if it was unrolled it would be as tall as an 11-storey building.

Amazingly, the region of sea it’s currently touring is largely unexplored.

‘The Ningaloo region is celebrated for its incredible diversity of evolutionary significant fauna. In contrast, the adjacent deep sea environment is almost completely unexplored,’ said Dr Nerida Wilson who led the researchers.

‘This expedition will be a wonderful opportunity to shed some light on some of this region’s unseen biodiversity.’

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