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#Science

Siphonophore nicknamed flying spaghetti monster captured on camera [video]

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During a routine operations near an oil well, a team from BP using remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) captured a bizarre looking marine creature and nicknamed it as the ‘flying spaghetti monster’.

The team, being part of the Serpent Project – a collaboration of ROV teams from oil and gas companies to catalogue ocean life – sent the footage to National Oceanography Centre’s Daniel Jones who identified it as a Siphonophore.

The creature belongs to a group of aquatic animals that include corals and jellyfish, some specimens have reached lengths of 40m! The footage was captured at depths of 1325m off the Angola coast.

Philip Pugh, one of Jones’s colleagues, pinned it down precisely. After noticing that the tentacles do not have side branches, he deduced that it was a specimen of Bathyphysa conifera.

Daniel has been amazed by the media reaction, “this unusual creature has sparked a huge reaction on the internet with over a quarter of a million people watching the video over the last week!”

“The video was sent to me by oil industry ROV pilots through the SERPENT network. It is a great example of how collaboration with industry can allow us to see much more of the deep sea and its strange and wonderful marine life”, Jones added.