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Diver Gets Glorious Glimpse of Giant Sea Worm That Only Comes Out at Night, Normally

YouTube / National Geographic

It turns out that there are people in the world who, during a dive, choose to swim. toward a 26 foot long pink tube that comes just right for them. Thank goodness for that, because if there was no humanity, I would not have received the video below.

Cameraman Steve Hathaway and his friend Andrew Buttle were diving off the coast of New Zealand in 2019 when they came across a pyrosome, a sometimes giant, pink, translucent worm-like creature that was so large they could swim through her.

What would normally get most people out of the water was something that the two men immediately recognized as totally harmless and, actually, a rare sight.

Pyrosomes are free-flowing colonies known as tunicates, consisting of thousands of tiny creatures called zooids that stick together to form a kind of framework.

Zooids filter food by pumping water through their bodies and chewing on plankton, droppings, or debris. This has earned them envious nicknames such as “sea squirts” or “sea cockroaches.”

In total, the divers spent 4 minutes swimming around them, an experience that “was quite incredible,” Buttle informs National Geographic. “We were able to see hundreds of thousands of tiny creatures up close.”

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These creatures and their cousin the salp they’re actually very common, it’s just that they’re usually a few inches long.

They feed by swimming vertically to the surface of the ocean at night and plunging back into darkness when the sun rises, a behavior theorized as a necessity to avoid predation, as the ‘sea squirt’ has no defenses of any kind and is essentially kind of an all-you-can-eat buffet for a fish lucky enough to find one that size.

One scientist told National Geographic that such an event would be as if a human could simply run his hand over the back of an elephant while eating it.

Sea creatures “reproduce” both sexually and asexually (they are also known for their bioluminescence or ability to glow), but how they form their large colonies is not understood.

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Hathaway, who saw the translucent shape on Whakaari Island, 30 miles from New Zealand’s shelter, says the rich volcanic waters attract all kinds of marine life in summer, something that has allowed him to have an 11-year career as a videographer filming. animals. like mantas and whales.

(LOOK the amazing National Geographic video below).

SWIM this otherworldly video with friends on social media …

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