Scientist Spots Mythical Sea Blob
Rob Sherlock, a scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, recently recovered a giant larvacean specimen over one hundred years after the creature had last been seen. The translucent invertebrate, known as Bathochordaeus charon, is a giant-sized version of the ocean-filtering larvaceans that inhabit the ocean.
The tadpole-like being was first reported by Carl Chun of Leipzig University in 1889, and had not been seen since by scientists who might study it. Another, similar species, Bathochordaeus stygius, had been discovered since his initial report, and many scientists wondered if that wasn't what Chun had encountered--at least until Sherlock's discovery.
Sherlock and his colleagues captured the sea creature while exploring the Monterey Bay in their ROV, named Doc Ricketts. Upon sighting it, they carefully collected the larvacean and placed it in a sealed thermal container. Genetic and physical analysis later confirmed the creature's identity as B. charon.
"It felt like Chun had finally been vindicated after years of doubt," Sherlock said.