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‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ Caught on Camera off Coast of Angola

‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ Caught on Camera off Coast of Angola

View all news from: Oceaneering International Services Limited
View directory entry for: Oceaneering International Services Limited

17 August 2015

ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operators from Oceaneering International, a provider of oil exploration equipment, have captured fascinating footage of a rarely seen deep-sea creature off the coast of Angola.

Oceaneering workers Luciano Pedro, Juan Contreras and Jeffrey Harker filmed this unusual creature at a depth of 4,350 feet (1,325 meters).

They then sent the footage to scientists from SERPENT, a collaborative project of ROV operators researching the exciting undersea environment through unique and innovative deep sea exploration.

Dr Daniel Jones of the National Oceanographic Centre in UK, who is the SERPENT project coordinator, with the help of Dr Philip Pugh from Anglia Ruskin University, identified the bizarre creature as a specimen of Bathyphysa conifera.

"The video was sent to me by oil industry ROV pilots through the SERPENT network,” Dr Jones explained.

"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.”

Bathyphysa conifera is a species of pelagic siphonophore (order Siphonophorae) belonging to the family Rhizophysidae.

It was first described by the Swiss marine biologist and ornithologist Theophil Rudolf Studer in 1878.

Like other siphonophores, Bathyphysa conifera is a colonial animal. It is harmless to humans and is found in the mesopelagic zone of the western Atlantic.

"In the video it is possible to see the side wings or ptera on the young gastrozooids or feeding polyps,” Dr Jones and Dr Pugh said.

"As the tentacles do not appear to have side branches, then that would make the species Bathyphysa conifera.”