The ocean never fails to amaze us with its diverse but harmonious creatures- from a warm blooded fish
, to sea dragons
and even feather stars
(yes, they have feathers)!
And now, here's this small animal living hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface. What's so interesting about it? See for yourself!
Huge, right? But that isn't actually its whole body. Larvaceans, as it's called, are shaped like tadpoles and are smaller than the palm of your hand. Everything else around it that you can see? That weird-shaped giant blob? Those are mucus!
These creatures actually make their houses using snots but amazingly filter a huge amount of water (about 2-4 five-gallon water container) per hour! That means if all of them just work hard together, they would clean all the particles out of Monterey Bay in about 13 days.
An in depth analysis of their lifestyle were even recently studied
by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. With the use of a remote-controlled laser-and-camera setup, they were able to measure the speed of such giant larvaceans in pumping water through their mucus and into their mouths.
Their poops are even nutritious! (Not for you to eat, mmkay?) They just basically let out in the sea floor all the nutrients that they don't need anymore. And when these snot houses get too clogged up, they also simply discard it to make another one. Both of these becomes the meal of bottom-dwelling sea creatures which is actually very helpful.
Gross as it may seem to us, this is what keeps our ocean live and thriving!