Weird deep-sea worm looks like a luminous lump of spaghetti

Science & Space

An image of the unnamed spaghetti worm from the newly released MBARI video. (Image credit: 2012 MBARI)

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A bizarre seafloor creature covered with luminous orange, spaghetti-like tentacles recently made its internet debut in newly released video footage. The unusual pom-pom-shaped creature is actually a type of segmented marine worm known as a polychaete, and it belongs to an appropriately named group: spaghetti worms. 

Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) captured footage of the pasta-mimicking worm in 2012 using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), while they were exploring the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico. They released the video (opens in new tab) July 1 on MBARI’s YouTube channel to celebrate World Polychaete Day.

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