The E/V Nautilus is at it again. The ocean exploration vessel, known for uncovering some of the world’s most astounding underwater creatures, is currently exploring the Galapagos Rift, where hydrothermal vents were first located in 1977.
This recent trip was the first return to the site since it’s discovery nearly 40 years ago. The dives into the hydrothermal vent area, nearly 8,000 feet below sea level, revealed several amazing marine species, some of which the crew is still working on identifying!
Like this maroon-colored benthopelagic sea cucumber that has never been seen before…
And this purple and white mushroom-looking creature that baffled all of the researchers (and whom one scientist simply called “one strange dude.”)
Lastly, the scientists spotted an aptly-named Flamboyant Squid Worm, whose species was first discovered in 2007.
The uncovering of marine life by hydrothermal vents was a huge scientific discovery in 1977, as it proved that life could survive on chemicals emitting from the Earth’s crust rather than sunlight. And these new images prove that we have no idea what else is living near hydrothermal vents.
Click below to see the full video footage of what the E/V Nautilus captured at the Galapagos Rift.