A Fisherman Caught This Bizarre Creature In New Zealand. Wait Until You See What It Turned Out To Be…

Fisherman Stewart Fraser was fishing off the coast of New Zealand when he realized he had caught something quite unusual. “I was debating whether to haul it in,” he said.  “But my curiosity got the best of me.” It’s a good thing he did because what he discovered is stranger than anything you can imagine.

Stewart Fraser was fishing off the coast of New Zealand when he pulled in something very unusual.

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He had never seen anything like this before.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

“It felt scaly and was quite firm, almost jelly like,” he said.  “You couldn’t see anything inside aside from this orange little blob.”

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

As it turns out, this creature isn’t the agent of an alien invasion. It’s actually called a salp.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

A salp is a planktonic tunicate, an invertebrate that travels through the ocean by funneling water through its jelly-like body.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

Though they look like something you would expect to find at the ocean’s darkest depths, they actually prefer the upper equatorial reaches, where they can be close to the warmth of the sun, feeding on phytoplankton and other bits of organic detritus.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

Their translucent body is believed to be a form of defensive camouflage.  While they are quite apparent to us, they are much harder for hungry sea creatures to spot.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

But the most fascinating thing about this creature is their unique life cycle.  Salps cling together to form long chains.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

As one massive, aggregate organism, they move, feed, mate, and grow as one.

Bizarre creature found in new zealand

Have you ever seen anything like these little guys?  Our planet is so much cooler than we thought!

(Source)

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