Face of the Day

Apparently it is an amphipod:

From the depths of the Kermadec Trench, New Zealand scientists have retrieved the largest known examples of a creature that looks like a giant albino flea.

On a recent research trip to the trench to determine how far down fish could be found, staff from Niwa and the University of Aberdeen found “supergiant” amphipods – deep-sea scavengers that feed on dead material.

“When the first big trap came out, first of all we said, great, we’ve got five fish,” Niwa’s Ashley Rowden said.

“But then we looked and said, `What the hell is that?”‘

Not only were the amphipods a record size – the biggest was just over 28 centimetres – but they were found seven kilometres below the ocean’s surface, far deeper than before.

Deep-sea amphipods, a relation of the sandhoppers that can be found on any beach, are typically two or three centimetres long. The research team knew of only two occasions when “supergiants” had been found anywhere in the world, with the last Kermadec sightings in the 1950s.

  • pita

    What were those thing out of “Alien” called…the ones that exploded out of John Hurts chest?

    • Ricardo

       What?  It’s no wonder John hurt then!

  • MrAuz1989

    Chest Bursters 

  • Anonymous

    They feed on dead material, eh? Labour MPs must be terrified. I ought to get one as a pet so I can sic it on Mallard if he gets too close.

  • joe bloggs

    wonder if it’s good eating?

  • Greg M

    What a wonderful creature, and I am now going to propose an alternative theory.

    We have all seen discovery channel vids of a plastic cup attached to an ROV, sent to the depths and returned to the surface a fraction of it’s original size.

    I am thinking this amphipod is probably only 3 cm long at 7000m depth, but “swelled up” on it’s journey to the surface.Without video of it on the seabed , at that depth, the evidence so far is unreliable.
    If it grew to that size at that depth, if it lived at sea level it would be about five times the size, which is unlikely, given the physical structure of amphipods.

    Science is for the most part easy and logical,and the principle of “Occam’s razor” is usually correct.
    No doubt NIWA will spend several million dollars to come up with a similar conclusion.

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