Mysterious Deep Sea Creature - Pyrosome

Channel: Epic Wildlife


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An extremely rare and terrifying deep sea creature was recently found with an animal trapped inside. What you are looking at is a Pyrosome.

A pyrosome is a free floating tunicate that is actually made up of a colony of 1,000's of individual creatures known as zooids.

These zooids range in size... and can be as tiny as coin with some reaching lengths of several meters or 10 feet.

Each of these are actually physically connected to each other sharing the same tissue and... are capable... of cloning each other.

They can grow to over 60 feet long with some rumored to be over 100 feet in length, That's bigger than 3 double decker buses.

Have you seen the movie...The Human Centipede?

While it may look terrifying, it's not really a threat to humans

As like many other giants of the sea it's just a filter feeder.

To feed, each zooid filters water through a basket that allows it to internally extract tiny plant cells to eat

The filtered water is then slowly shot out which allows it to propel.. and move throughout ocean

This majestic creature can sometimes be found at the surface of the open ocean as well as in the dark hyperbaric regions of the deep sea.

Pyrosoma which comes from the greek words "pyro" for fire and "soma" for body.Fire Bodies

Their natural color is pink..or white and they are "bioluminescent" which means they are able to flash a blue-greenish light which can be seen from 100 feet away.

They do this when energy is produced and released from chemical reactions inside the body.

This is similar to glow worms, fireflies, hatchefish, and other deep sea creatures. Some use it for mating or defense while others
like the cookie-cutter shark we'll covering in tomorrow's video, will use this light.. to lure in it's prey.

so when these guys light up, each individual zooid is capable of emitting light, and when it does, the neighbors do too. Sometimes the light from one colony will cause entire other colonys to start lighting up... as if.. they're communicating...

One diver described his experience with a pyrosome saying "it felt like an exquisitely soft feather boa.”

But don't venture too close, or swim up inside one because in August of last year [August 3rd 2013], a pyrosome about as long as I am was discovered with a dead penguin trapped inside.

These deep sea creatures remain so mysterious that some scientists belief that studying this rare species may help in developing new treatments of many diseases by bringing us to new understandings of cell biology.

We simply just don't know a lot about these colony-based creatures. As Rebecca Helm likes to say "Pyrosomes are like unicorns" "Completely improbable, utterly mysterious"

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