An underwater drone filmed a siphonophore of fantastic sizes off the coast of Australia

The members of the Ningaloo Canyons expedition posted on their Twitter a video from an underwater drone, which captured one of the most outlandish creatures in the oceans. The expedition was exploring the little-explored but very rich biome of Western Australia, and was already on the way back when the sonar showed something strange. A drone was sent for reconnaissance, and when the video from its camera was displayed on the screen in the wheelhouse, the whole team immediately gathered there.

Very similar to alien life, both visually and in its behavior, this creature is still from Earth and is called a siphonophore. The drone was never able to show it in its entirety, an approximate estimate of the length of its outer ring is 47 m, which means it is a monster of unprecedented dimensions. In principle, small siphonophores do not exist, but scientists have not yet seen such huge colonies. Fortunately, this animal does not pose any danger, although it inspires awe.

Check out this beautiful * giant * siphonophore Apolemia recorded on #NingalooCanyons expedition. It seems likely that this specimen is the largest ever recorded, and in strange UFO-like feeding posture. Thanks @Caseywdunn for info @wamuseum @GeoscienceAus @CurtinUni @Scripps_Ocean

- Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) April 6, 2020

A siphonophora is a collective organism consisting of zooids that combine into a single structure with an articulated nervous system. Like ants in an anthill, individual zooids have their own functions. Some emit light, luring prey, others catch it, others provide movement of the entire structure, etc. There is too little information about these creatures, but it is known that all resources inside the siphonophore are distributed according to the well-known principle "from each as possible, to each according to need."

Zooids cannot survive alone, they exist as long as the entire siphonophore colony lives. Off the coast of Australia, scientists had a chance to observe how individuals transfer food along the central rod with the nervous system so that it goes to all parts of a single organism. The spiral shape that the drone saw just indicates that the colony is in feeding mode. A stunning sight.