Consider this couple’s costume: this terrifying sea cucumber, pictured above, and an Antarctic researcher who can’t WAIT to put out a press release reporting on a deep sea wonder instead of the impending climate apocalypse. Truly, these are the star-crossed lovers of our time.
Indeed, as Business Insider reports, that pulsating little thing is not an errant bag of Franzia, but a sea cucumber called Enypniastes eximia, which Australia’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) underwater camera recently spotted having a grand ol’ time in the Southern Ocean, near East Antarctica. Scientists call this little dude a “headless chicken monster,” because it does sort of look like a headless raw bird. But this sea cucumber is much more peaceful than a chicken, which is never at peace. Plus, he has fins. Look at him go!
NOAA previously filmed an Enypniastes eximia in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, but this is the farthest south this baby’s been seen, plus researchers used fancy new technology to make him a star. The camera system scientists used was recently developed by the Australian Antarctic Division to keep track of how commercial fisheries impact sensitive ecological systems, and can handle “extreme pressure in the pitch black for long periods of time,” per program leader Dr. Dirk Welsford.
“Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world,” Welsford said, according to ABC 7. Indeed, the chicken monster is breathtaking, but also OH GOD HE HAS LEGS.
The things that live in the ocean will never not be terrifying, although it is important to remember that humans are the true chicken monsters.