A team of worldwide scientists has discovered a number of new marine species in one of the most unexplored ecosystems in the world, the deep water off Australia.
Although the team found a variety of underwater organisms - including a faceless fish, a sea pig, a zombie worm, and a flesh-eating crustacean - the peanut worm caught everyone's eye.
"Throughout the month of June, they explored one of the most inaccessible and mysterious environments on the planet - a habitat 4,000 metres below the sea known as the eastern abyss", reports ibtimes.co.uk. It quickly captured the public's attention.
Peanut worms or sipunculid worms are actually a group of bilaterally symmetrical, unsegmented worms that consists of between 144 to 320 different species.
And reproduction? Well, they're both sexual beings and asexual beings, meaning they don't need a partner to procreate (but where's the fun in that?).
The team of explorers that found this particular peanut worm has just returned from a trip aboard the research vessel The Investigator.
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The researchers said more than one-third of the spineless critters and numerous fishes discovered during the expedition are new to biologists. It was also a particularly rare one.
In a statement, Dr Tim O'Hara, the voyage's chief scientist, explained with precisely zero sniggering down the back: "Australia's deep sea environment is larger in size than the mainland, and until now, nearly nothing was known about life on the abyssal plain".
"We're really excited about the discoveries that we've made and are thrilled that we can now share them with the Australian and global public", the Inquisitr reported.
About a third of the creatures the team brought back are species that have never been seen before. So far, only a small number of samples have been collected from Australia's abyss - but there is much to learn from them.
You can slake your curiosity on the gallery below, and a selection of the specimens will be on exhibit at Melbourne Museum later this year.
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