Larger than a Blue Whale, a giant siphonophore recorded on the Ningaloo Canyons expedition. It seems this specimen is the largest ever recorded.
Guwahati, April 10, 2020
What could be the largest animal ever recorded, a giant siphonophore surfaced in the Indian Ocean, giving a breathtaking view. The scientists at the Schmidt Ocean Institute recorded the footage of this colossal Apolemia, a kind of siphonophore or string jelly fish like sea animal, during the Ningaloo Canyons expedition in Western Australia. According to the scientists involved with the expedition, this siphonophore’s outer ring measured in at 15 m (49ft) diameter, so just that ring alone seems to be approximately 47m (154ft).
The largest animal on earth, the Blue Whale, can grow up to 29.9m (98ft). So, one can imagine how gigantic this Apolemia is!
It may be noted that the Ningaloo Canyons expedition in the Indian Ocean is part of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s year long initiative in Australia and Pacific to conduct number of scientific expeditions to explore the deep sea world. Using underwater robot SuBastian and other sophisticated devices and methods, the scientists have already explored out many amazing facts from the deep inside the ocean. During month long scientific expedition exploring the sub marine canyons near Ningaloo, Western Australia, this beautiful giant siphonophore was recorded.
In an earlier Instagram post from the Schmidt Ocean Institute, details of siphonophore is described very well. There are over 180 species of siphonophores and some can grow over 130 feet. However, even the biggest siphonophore’s body isn’t much bigger than a broomstick. Actually, tiny individual siphonophores or zooids clone themselves thousands of times over into different types of specialized bodies. These bodies string together to work as one unit. In simple words, it’s a colony of genetically identical individual bodies. In marine biologist Stefan Siebert’s words, these specialized bodies function as different organs. Accordingly, some bodies move the colony, some feed for the colony while some take care of reproduction. “The whole thing looks like one animal, but it’s many thousands of individuals which form an entity on a higher level”, informed Siebert.
The video of the giant Apolemia siphonophore has created storm in social media. Never before such a huge creature was seen or recorded. Scientific community is now busy to find out more about this beautiful creation.