Scientists Discover 'Alien' New Species With 20 Arms Lurking In The Deep Antarctic Ocean

By Harsh Rana in News On 9th July 2024

Oh, wonderful... just when you thought the ocean couldn't get any creepier, new nightmare fuel has been discovered deep in the Antarctic Ocean.

It’s incredible how many different creatures roam the Earth, and mankind continues to uncover new species even today.

However, this latest discovery is likely to give you chills. Scientists have named this new creature the Antarctic strawberry feather star, but don’t let the cute name fool you.

It looks like something straight out of the Alien movies, resembling deep-sea face-huggers.

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Some of its 'arms' can grow up to 8 inches long and are adorned with bumps or feathery tendrils.

Personally, it's a big nope from me; I’d hate to come across this seemingly eldritch horror of a creature.

Scientists have called the new creature an Antarctic strawberry feather star. Greg W. Rouse

Nerida Wilson, an invertebrate marine biologist at the Western Australian Museum, highlighted the importance of this discovery.

Wilson and her colleagues reported the Antarctic strawberry feather star along with three other feather star species in a study published in July in the journal Invertebrate Systematics.

She stated, “As we continue to understand how diverse ecosystems like the Antarctic are, or other difficult-to-sample habitats like the deep sea, we should continue to appreciate how precious and important these areas are in sustaining a diverse marine ecosystem.”

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This new study adds seven species of these creatures. Four are newly discovered, and three were originally misclassified as different kinds of animals before the invention of DNA sequencing.

Wilson elaborated, “The application of molecular tools to understanding biodiversity is widely applicable and has become a necessary part of understanding all living things."

“As we continue to understand how diverse ecosystems like the Antarctic are, or other difficult-to-sample habitats like the deep sea, we should continue to appreciate how precious and important these areas are in sustaining a diverse marine ecosystem.”

Angela Stevenson, a postdoctoral researcher at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany, who wasn’t involved in the study, also weighed in on the significance of these findings.

Some of the 'arms' are up to 8 inches long and studded with bumps or feathery tendrils. Greg W. Rouse

She noted that, despite how terrifying these creatures may appear, discoveries like these help us better comprehend the ecosystem in those regions.

Stevenson said, “It is fantastic that the authors have done this taxonomic work.

“It is what ecologists like me depend on to do our work because the first step of understanding species interactions is knowing who’s there in the first place.”

These discoveries are not just about adding new names to a list of species; they are crucial for understanding the complex interactions within marine ecosystems.

With every new species discovered, we gain a deeper insight into the richness of life in the ocean, particularly in hard-to-reach places like the Antarctic depths.