With eighty percent of oceans currently unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored, it’s no wonder that people are still surprised by footage of deep-sea creatures. A video of just such a creature has recently resurfaced on the internet after being posted back in 2013.
The video clip initially shows a marine animal similar in appearance to an extraterrestrial spacecraft or aliens from Arrival but becomes even stranger when the creature unfurls into a torpedo-like shape with lights dotted on its body.
At the end of the video, the creature swirls away and appears to disappear into shreds, but more plausible explanations have suggested that this is just the animal releasing its ink. Filmed at a depth of 3753ft in the Indian Ocean by an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) off the coast of Africa, speculation has abounded about what the creature is – with most viewpoints concluding that it is impossible to tell.
Well, that’s not exactly the case. Since this video has been floating around the internet for over seven years, there has been plenty of time for various scientists and marine biologists to identify the creature as a deepwater ctenophore. Also known as a comb jelly, ctenophores are a phylum of sea creatures that are characterised by the rainbow-coloured light that reflects off their cilia when they move (the bright dots of UFO-type light that we see on its body in the clip).
However, the specific species that the creature belongs to has not been figure out yet. Some users on the reddit r/marine biology have speculated that it could either be Ocyropsis maculata or Ocyropsis vance, but no one has yet put forward a conclusive identification. One thing is for certain: this creature is most definitely not an alien, but simply a little-researched marine animal.
For more ocean-related articles, click here to read about thalassophobia, the fear of what lurks beneath large bodies of water.