A submersible off the coast of Western Australia chanced upon an 45-metre-long deep-sea siphonophore arranged in a feeding spiral, trailing its deadly tentacles
In 2020, about 600 metres (2,000ft) down in an underwater canyon off the coast of Western Australia, scientists encountered a long gelatinous creature suspended in a giant spiral. “It was like a rope on the horizon. You couldn’t miss it,” says Nerida Wilson from the Western Australian Museum. “It was so huge.”
It was a deep-sea siphonophore, a relative of the portuguese man o’ war, or blue bottles, that bob like party balloons on the sea surface, trailing deadly tentacles through the water. This one was probably a new species from the genus Apolemia, a group that generally look like tangled feather boas.