Researchers piloting a robotic probe 2,000 feet underwater off Australia's western edge captured this astounding footage of a siphonophore. At an estimated 150-feet long, it may be the longest organism in the ocean. The scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's Falkor research vessel also identified more than two dozen new species, collected environmental DNA samples, and retrieved sea creatures that live three miles down in deep sea canyons. From the New York Times:
Each siphonophore is a colony of individual zooids, clusters of cells that clone themselves thousands of times to produce an extended, stringlike body. While some of her colleagues compared the siphonophore to silly string, [Western Australian Museum senior research scientist Nerida] Wilson said the organism is much more organized than that[…]
"What's fascinating about this particular part of the world is that it has not been explored," said Jyotika Virmani, executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. "Any time people go down into the deep sea, it's so vast and yet so unexplored that it's very easy to make new discoveries and to see something we've never seen before. It is like being on a new planet."