Fishermen haul transparent ‘alien’ creature with huge claws from depths of sea
Shocked fishermen found a transparent 'alien' sea creature, thought to be part of the species that inspired the alien in the movie of the same name.
"Tell me this is not an alien," the video, which is doing the rounds online, was captioned.
The clip featured a small, transparent, gelatinous in a barrel-shaped outer layer.
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It is unclear where exactly the clip was shot and the habitat of the species, called Phronima, is no help because it roams freely in the open waters across the globe, except polar regions.
In the clip, the baffled fisherman with a US accent squeezes the outer jelly layer of the animal, revealing a beastly clawed figure inside.
These two components are actually separate, with the beastie inside actually acting as a parasite in a host, which it may or may not have killed itself.
Phronima break free of the sea floor and advantage of another sea creature, the salp, to survive in the open water, parasite expert Katie O'Dwyer wrote for The Conversation.
Salps are barrel-shaped, gelatinous zooplankton which drift throughout our oceans, she added, stating furthermore that the phronima climbs inside the 'barrel' of the salp to create a makeshift home.
Phronima carves away the insides of the salp with its huge claws, to leave an empty barrel structure.
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The species should really be considered as a parasitoid rather than a parasite because it actively kills its host, O'Dwyer points out.
In late 2020, several phronima washed up on Streedagh beach, Sligo on the Atlantic coast of Ireland after the huge swells caused by Hurricane Epsilon.
Melinda Swann, a freelance ecologist in Sligo, wrote in the Sligo Champion: "The first time they were recorded in Ireland was back in 1985 by the marine biologist Dr Dan Minchin a long time friend of our family.
"These crustaceans certainly capture the imagination, as HR Geiger must have thought!"
It is widely thought that the specimen was the inspiration for HR Geiger’s drawings for Ridley Scott's 1979 movie Alien.
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