This Feather Starfish Looks Too Magical to Be Real

The ocean is full of creatures that seem too bizarre to be real. A perfect example is the strange sea animal featured in the video below, called a feather starfish.

Feather Starfish in Blue Lagoon,… – Atlantis International Bali

Feather Starfish in Blue Lagoon, Padangbai, Bali Open this link to dive here👉 www.atlantis-bali-diving.com/go-diving/daily-diving-trips/day-trip-padang-bai Video by Els Van Den Eijnden Final editing for SMO by Rio Sofwan #padi #mypadi #diving #scubadiving #bali #atlantisbali #liveyourpassion

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As you might guess from its name, the feather star looks like a starfish that has legs made of feathers. With its graceful movements and magical appearance, it looks more like a creature from a sci-fi movie than the Earth’s actual ocean.

Despite it’s name, the feathery animal is not a type of sea star: It is actually a type of creature called a crinoid.

There are two types of crinoids, one of which is the free-floating feather stars, like the one above. The other type, known as the “sea lily,” has a stalk that keeps it attached to the sea floor.

There are 600 species of crinoid, and many different types of feather stars.

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Though feather stars are not starfish, they are related to them.

Feather Starfish - Beautiful Images and GIFs Collection with Facts
Photo source: Flickr/Elias Levy

 

Sea stars and feather stars both belong to the phylum Echinodermata.

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Sea cucumbers and sea urchins are echinoderms, too.

SeaUrchinsSeaCucumbers

Like their relatives, feathers stars have radial symmetry. But no other echinoderm looks quite as fantastical swimming around the ocean.

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Feather stars can swim freely, but they also have a small set of legs that allows them to attach to objects.

Photo source: Flickr/NOAA Ocean Explorere
Photo source: Flickr/NOAA Ocean Explorere

Meanwhile, their feather-like appendages help them catch plankton drifting through the water.

Though they may look fragile, some feather starfish can live in the high-pressure environment of the deep sea. In fact, one crinoid was caught on camera by the 2015 Okeanos Explorer deep-sea expedition.