Earth is so teeming with an abundance of life that we are still continuing to discover new species of living organisms. The seas and oceans are often the places where we come across new and wonderful animals that are never seen before, and one fisherman from New Zealand must have though he had caught something from another planet!
Stewart Fraser reeled in the rather peculiar animal seen in the photographs, and he hadn’t seen anything like it before in his life, all he knew was just how peculiar it was.
“I was in two minds whether to haul it in,” he later said. “But curiosity got the better of me.”
Understandably so, as when you look at the translucent fish-like creature, it really does appear like some sort of weird hybrid creature or some sort of alien organism. Of course it was something that is totally explainable, but at a quick glance you can be forgiven for thinking it is anything but.
So what is the name of this odd sea-dweller? A salp!
Salps are planktonic tunicates, which are a type of invertebrate that travels through the ocean by funnelling water through its clear body. And while you may think that these harmless creatures would be found hiding in the dark depths of the ocean, it turns out they actually prefer things closer to the surface.
Salps also enjoy eating phytoplankton and various other organic detritus, and its believed that their translucent bodies help to camouflage them from the various predators found in these waters.
Even more impressive is how salps live their lives. Rather than being solitary creatures, they bind together with other salps to form massive chains, making them part of one larger organism.
Collectively these salps move as one, as well as feeding and mating together as one, proving just how fascinating these animals are.
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