Scientists discover horrifying new sea creature with 20 arms: 'Imaging this thing touching your toes'

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By Kim Novak

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Most people know that the oceans are likely to contain creatures we've never seen or heard about - and by the looks of it, what lies down there is even creepier than we thought.

Scientists have discovered a pretty terrifying-looking new creature in the water, and it's leaving everyone slightly freaked out by its look.

It's named the Antarctic strawberry feather star - which, to be fair, sounds adorable... until you see the photos of said Antarctic strawberry feather star.

The new species was discovered by researchers working in the ocean near Antarctica, who came across the being with 20 'arms' - some of which have a feathery look, while others are bumpy.

The creepy-looking being is mostly made up of tentacles and resembles a jellyfish, albeit without the 'jelly' part.

As if it wasn't already nightmare-inducing enough, scientists have said the creature - which can measure up to eight inches long - moves around using its longer 'arms' while the smaller tentacles at its base also feature tiny claws to help it grasp on to the bottom of the ocean floor.

Marine biology professor Greg Rouse from the University of California, San Diego, co-authored a paper on the Antarctic strawberry feather star with researchers Emily McLaughlin and Nerid Wilson, publishing their findings in Invertebrate Systematics.

They revealed that the name came about after they shared images of the creature with some of the smaller tentacles - which are called cirri - removed from the base of the creature, leaving what was left resembling a strawberry.

Antarctic strawberry feather star is the colloquial term for the creature, which has the scientific name of Promachocrinus fragarius.

It belongs to the Crinoidea class of species, which includes sea urchins, starfish, and sea cucumbers, among others.

The Antarctic strawberry feather star was discovered after researchers dragged a net along the Southern Ocean, hoping to find others in the same species.

One Antarctic feather star had previously been found, dubbed the Promachocrinus kerguelensis, and the new discovery was made between 215 feet and 3,840 feet below the surface.

Rouse revealed that most feather stars have 10 'arms' but the newest discovery means the feather star category could contain eight species - including some previously discovered creatures as well as four new species.

He explained to Insider: "So we went from one species with 20 arms to now eight species — six with 20 arms and two with 10 arms under the name Promachocrinus."

Understandably, people were suitably creeped out when they saw the photos of the Antarctic strawberry feather star for the first time, and took to Twitter to share their horror.

One joked: "If you haven't seen this yet... Apparently this is an Antarctic Strawberry Feather Star. Imagine this thing touching your toes", while another added: "It's a Antarctic Strawberry Feather Star. New species. Thanks scientists. Now put the f**king thing back in the water!"

Others wrote: "This Antarctic strawberry feather star they discovered looks like a face hugging xenomorph. Yeah nope I don't want nothing to do with it" and "It's insane that they actually called this thing the 'Antarctic strawberry feather star.' You're not fooling me with that Care Bear name, I know a demon when I see one."

Another also questioned the name of it, writing: "The Antarctic strawberry feather star is a scary looking creature that has just been found living under the Antarctic ice. I don't know who came up with such a name."

Despite the majority being creeped out by the thing, some people were loving it, writing: "How are more people not talking about the coolest species ever the Antarctic strawberry feather star???", and:  "The Antarctic strawberry feather star is so freaking cute I want one!!!!!!"

Each to their own...

Featured image credit: Getty Images

Scientists discover horrifying new sea creature with 20 arms: 'Imaging this thing touching your toes'

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Most people know that the oceans are likely to contain creatures we've never seen or heard about - and by the looks of it, what lies down there is even creepier than we thought.

Scientists have discovered a pretty terrifying-looking new creature in the water, and it's leaving everyone slightly freaked out by its look.

It's named the Antarctic strawberry feather star - which, to be fair, sounds adorable... until you see the photos of said Antarctic strawberry feather star.

The new species was discovered by researchers working in the ocean near Antarctica, who came across the being with 20 'arms' - some of which have a feathery look, while others are bumpy.

The creepy-looking being is mostly made up of tentacles and resembles a jellyfish, albeit without the 'jelly' part.

As if it wasn't already nightmare-inducing enough, scientists have said the creature - which can measure up to eight inches long - moves around using its longer 'arms' while the smaller tentacles at its base also feature tiny claws to help it grasp on to the bottom of the ocean floor.

Marine biology professor Greg Rouse from the University of California, San Diego, co-authored a paper on the Antarctic strawberry feather star with researchers Emily McLaughlin and Nerid Wilson, publishing their findings in Invertebrate Systematics.

They revealed that the name came about after they shared images of the creature with some of the smaller tentacles - which are called cirri - removed from the base of the creature, leaving what was left resembling a strawberry.

Antarctic strawberry feather star is the colloquial term for the creature, which has the scientific name of Promachocrinus fragarius.

It belongs to the Crinoidea class of species, which includes sea urchins, starfish, and sea cucumbers, among others.

The Antarctic strawberry feather star was discovered after researchers dragged a net along the Southern Ocean, hoping to find others in the same species.

One Antarctic feather star had previously been found, dubbed the Promachocrinus kerguelensis, and the new discovery was made between 215 feet and 3,840 feet below the surface.

Rouse revealed that most feather stars have 10 'arms' but the newest discovery means the feather star category could contain eight species - including some previously discovered creatures as well as four new species.

He explained to Insider: "So we went from one species with 20 arms to now eight species — six with 20 arms and two with 10 arms under the name Promachocrinus."

Understandably, people were suitably creeped out when they saw the photos of the Antarctic strawberry feather star for the first time, and took to Twitter to share their horror.

One joked: "If you haven't seen this yet... Apparently this is an Antarctic Strawberry Feather Star. Imagine this thing touching your toes", while another added: "It's a Antarctic Strawberry Feather Star. New species. Thanks scientists. Now put the f**king thing back in the water!"

Others wrote: "This Antarctic strawberry feather star they discovered looks like a face hugging xenomorph. Yeah nope I don't want nothing to do with it" and "It's insane that they actually called this thing the 'Antarctic strawberry feather star.' You're not fooling me with that Care Bear name, I know a demon when I see one."

Another also questioned the name of it, writing: "The Antarctic strawberry feather star is a scary looking creature that has just been found living under the Antarctic ice. I don't know who came up with such a name."

Despite the majority being creeped out by the thing, some people were loving it, writing: "How are more people not talking about the coolest species ever the Antarctic strawberry feather star???", and:  "The Antarctic strawberry feather star is so freaking cute I want one!!!!!!"

Each to their own...

Featured image credit: Getty Images