The depths of the oceans have provided us with some amazing sites ranging from amazing animals that glow with bioluminescence to the internet favorite Blob Fish. A new experiment has yielded a discovery that is simultaneously cool and creepy.
It all started when researchers started dropping alligators 2,000 meters down to the bottom of the ocean. The goal was to use the dead gators as bait and see what animals would come out for a snack. They chose alligators because the hoped it’s tough skin would stop some of the weaker scavengers. That turned out to not really be a factor as a group of giant pink isopods managed to make it through the hide in less than a day, at which point they just climbed inside and started chowing down.
Another gator was reduced down to just a skull and spine in around 51 days. That experiment led to the discovery of a new member of the Osedax family, a previously unknown seaworm that eats bone. Yup… giant isopods and bone-eating worms.