Ever wonder what is hanging out below your feet in open water? Well, if you are swimming off the coast of the Carolinas a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Exploration and Research team has the answer, and you might not like it.
The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer recently concluded their Windows to the Deep 2018: Exploration of the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin expedition which consisted of 17 dives by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named Deep Discoverer, which was controlled by NOAA explorers.
The dives occurred along the southeastern coast of the North America and often had the ROV travel to the sea floor of the area. If you watch enough nature documentaries, you know the sea floor can be kind of a creepy place filled with creatures unlike anything on land.
These waters did not disappoint, especially the two final dives off the coast of the Carolinas, where ROV encountered several unidentifiable creatures. Among them, according to NOAA’s accounts of the expedition, was an anemone sprouting numerous tentacle-like, long pink appendages and a “potential colonial hydriod” the looks like a neon brain hanging out in a hammock to the untrained eye.
Other creatures discovered in the deep next door include the very toothy deep-sea lizardfish, bathysaurus.
According to the Charlotte Observer, National Geographic calls these rarely seen, doll-eyed sea dwellers a “horror” to behold. We will let you decided for yourself.
Another more fantastical creature spotted during the expedition, which ran from late May to early July, was the greeneye fish, who looks like they are sporting a holographic mustache.
To check out all the amazing and occasionally eerie highlights from this NOAA expedition, visit the expedition’s page. Until then, sleep tight and don’t let the lizardfish bite.