'Headless chicken monster' filmed swimming near Antarctica for the first time

'Headless chicken monster' filmed swimming near Antarctica for the first time

It was filmed in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.

In truth, it is neither a chicken nor a monster. (Surely, it has a lovely personality, though.) Unsure what else to do in the face of such greatness, the Australian government wrote a press release.

For only the second time in history, a sea creature dubbed the "headless chicken monster" was filmed on the ocean floor, this time in Antarctica.

The interspecies voyeurism comes courtesy of a new underwater camera system.

Video of the holothuroid was shared Sunday by the Australian Antarctic Division, which is part of Australia's Department of the Environment and Energy.

"We needed something that could be thrown from the side of a boat, and would continue operating reliably under extreme pressure in the pitch black for long periods of time", Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader Dirk Welsford said in a statement.

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Meet the real-life "chicken of the sea": a odd, pinkish-red creature with a body like a plump-breasted and decapitated chicken, earning the creature the name "headless chicken monster".

Although this species of sea cucumber, Enypniastes eximia, is also known as the "Spanish dancer", it doesn't do much dancing. The camera attaches to longlines and can go to depths of up to 3 kilometres, thanks to its "extremely durable" casing.

Researchers say it can help determine which areas of the sea floor can withstand long-line fishing and which areas should be avoided.

The results of the findings will be presented at the annual CCAMLR conference in Hobart on Monday.

According to researchers, the devices have captured extensive footage from the deep Southern Ocean, including creatures that have previously never been caught on camera in that region.

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