Over 300 New Species Discovered in The Australian Abyss

Alain Brian
Juin 19, 2017

The worm in question is called a peanut worm, and according to the International Business Times, it dwells in an abyss off of Australia's eastern coast with a handful of other alien sea beasts.

And, being abyssal creatures adapted to survive in the crushing, freezing darkness, they are pretty grotesque to our land-dwelling human eyes - slimy and toothy and luminescent and, in one very memorable case, more than a little bit phallic. It quickly captured the public's attention.

They can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and when threatened they can contract their long head inwards.

Peanut worms or sipunculid worms are actually a group of bilaterally symmetrical, unsegmented worms that consists of between 144 to 320 different species.

Along the way they've found this nightmare-inducing faceless fish, but they also happened upon this "peanut worm", and there's no prizes for guessing what it happens to look like.

The team of researchers who went on the expedition first came into the lime light after they released a photo of a faceless fish, one of the most peculiar creatures they found in the abyss. It appears this particular one bears quite the resemblance to a penis.

"Australia's deep sea environment is larger in size than the mainland, and until now, nearly nothing was known about life on the abyssal plain", Dr. Tim O'Hara, the expedition's Chief Scientist and Museums Victoria's Senior Curator of Marine Invertebrates, said.

"We're really excited about the discoveries that we've made and are thrilled that we can now share them with the Australian and global public". The collecting gear brought back over 1,000 different species out of which over 300 are completely unknown to us. So far, only a small number of samples have been collected from Australia's abyss - but there is much to learn from them.

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