'Headless chicken monster' filmed for first time in Southern Ocean waters

Lewis Collier
October 22, 2018

Like most sea cucumbers, these "headless chicken monsters" feed by touching down on the seafloor and stuffing their "face" with their tentacles before shooting back up in the water.

Australian scientists, using specialist equipment, have reported disturbing findings made three kilometers below the surface of the Antarctic's Southern Ocean: the discovery of a 'headless chicken monster'.

Enypniastes eximia had previously only been captured on camera swimming in the Gulf of Mexico before this new footage was released.

The mesmerizing footage was filmed by Australian fishing cameras, according to the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), the public organization running the country's Antarctic program.

The technology is based on a housing which protects the camera and electronics and is "designed to attach to toothfish longlines in the Southern Ocean, so it needs to be extremely durable", said Welsford, referring to a type of line used for deep sea fishing.

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By filming these waters, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is collecting data on how marine life is being affected by fishing.

A freakish, rarely seen creature has been spotted swimming gracefully above the seabed off the coast of East Antarctica.

"Australia will again be seeking support for the creation of a new East Antarctic Marine Protected Area", said Gillian Slocum, Australia's CCAMLR Commissioner. The data collected by the division will be presented at the annual CCAMLR meeting in Hobart, Tasmania that begins Monday and will continue through November 2.

These proposals are among a number of measures Australia will put forward during the 10-day meeting, including proposals to improve the way CCAMLR responds to the impacts of climate change.

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