New 'alien' deep-sea crustacean discovered off the Gulf of Mexico

Shola Lee

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New 'alien' deep-sea crustacean discovered off the Gulf of Mexico

Featured Image Credit: Journal of Natural History

Possibly the creepiest sea crustacean we've ever seen has just been discovered off the Gulf of Mexico.

The alien-looking, deep-sea creature, also known as the bathynomus yucatanensis, is a type of isopod that scours the ocean floor for food.

Isopods are commonly found in tropical and temperate deep seas.

Findings of the new species, which is 2,500% bigger than a woodlouse, were published in the Journal of Natural History.

There are nearly 20 living bathonymus species, with researchers explaining that the newly discovered crustacean 'has more slender body proportions and is shorter in total length' than those previously discovered.

The creepy creature in all its glory. Credit: Journal of Natural History
The creepy creature in all its glory. Credit: Journal of Natural History

With the most distinctive feature being the number of 'pleotelson spines' that the creature has - 11 in total.


Incase you needed some new wall art. Credit: Journal of Natural History
Incase you needed some new wall art. Credit: Journal of Natural History

That number also surpasses the closely related maxeyorum, which has seven.

However, the new species has the same number of spines as the giganteus, discovered over a century ago, which could prove tricky for researchers as this suggests that 'superficial examination, using only pleotelson spines, could easily result in specimens of B. yucatanensis being misidentified'.

Misidentification is exactly what happened when researchers found the new species of the Gulf of Mexico, initially thinking that they were examining the giganteus.

The closely related giganteus.
The closely related giganteus.

The similar appearance of the pair suggests that they share a common ancestor and means that they both look like pure nightmare fuel.

While we wish we'd seen anything other than the new species today, marine enthusiasts on Twitter were thrilled with the discovery.

One said: "NEW GUY JUST DROPPED," which sounds hilariously like a text one of the Love Islanders would get.

Another really loved seeing the new animal, saying: "I love this f****** pasta baby."

Not sure what pasta they're eating...

A fourth really felt like they could relate to the new species, saying: "This thing is sooooo me i wish i was a little isopod discovered in the gulf of Mexico."

While we absolutely do not want to be an isopod on the bottom of the sea, we're glad the new creature was found. Kind of.

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Topics: News, Science, Technology, World News, US News

Shola Lee
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