Last Month, California Academy of Science Researchers Discovered 100 New, Otherworldly Species off The Philippines

by Owen James Burke

slug

Above: A slug of some sort, or so scientists say. “It was like an underwater Easter egg hunt”, said Terry Gosliner, California Academy of Sciences principal investigator on the expedition. “It was one of the most exciting scientific dives of my 50-year career.” Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences.

Over the past several weeks, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences have been gathering unnamed specimens while on expedition in the Philippines, and this past week, they announced the discovery of 100 new species, some of which look as though they were pried from the walls of modern art museums rather than the bottom of the sea.

twilight

Divers collect curious fish specimens in the twilight zone, 150-500 feet beneath the surface. Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences.

Slugs made up about 40 of the newly discovered species, fish about 15, and a variety of other species, including a multicolored comb jelly and these wildly psychedelic-looking tunicates which look like something out of Disney’s Fantasia:

tunicates

Photo credit: Gary Williams/California Academy of Sciences.

Many of these animals and more will be featured in a 2016 California Academy of the Sciences exhibit at the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium. We’ll be keeping an eye out for further updates. For now, read more about the expedition and discoveries at the Academy’s website. -OJB

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