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Pyrosomes are sometimes referred to as the unicorns of the sea because their habits are so mysterious and they are so difficult to find that they have achieved something of a mythical status for marine biologists which is why this new video of a glowing pyrosome is causing such a stir in scientific communities.
Rare glowing sea creature captured on camera.
Many scientists who specialize in marine life believe pyrosomes to be among a fascinating creatures to swim beneath the depths of the world’s oceans and it’s easy to see why.
Pyrosomes are not individual creatures but are actually colonies made up of thousands of clones of the same creature. These clonal colonies are sometimes incredibly small, but larger pyrosomes can grow to an astonishing sixty feet in length. No matter what the size, the colonies always adopt a bell-like shape which opens at one end. In the case of larger specimens, this opening can be large enough for an adult human being to fit comfortably inside.
Despite their formidable size, pyrosomes are fairly harmless filter feeders that sustain themselves by ingesting a huge volume of sea water containing the plankton they need for nourishment. After their bodies filter the plankton, they excrete the waste water through their natural opening which also serves the purpose of pushing the body of the pyrosome forward using jet propulsion. This process takes a long period of time which means that pyrosomes move incredibly slowly, according to R.R Helm.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about pyrosomes is the fact that they are bioluminescent. According to Helm, when the clonal colonies perceive a source of light or touch another colony they will respond by creating a bright blue-green light of their own. It appears as though they emit this light to attract other colonies, or perhaps even to communicate with them. Sailors have reported seeing dozens of illuminated pyrosomes swimming together underneath the surface of the ocean on calm nights.
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