Not many people can say they have seen a translucent sea creature up close and personal. In fact, it is a rarity even among fishermen.
The one who pulled this jellyfish-like creature to the surface off the coast of the Karikari Peninsula in New Zealand was fisherman Stewart Fraser. “I just kept on watching it thinking ‘what is this thing?’ It was the size of a coke can and just cork-screwing really slowly towards me.” Fraser explained. He was skeptical about bringing the mysterious creature on board to begin with because of it’s bizarre look, but then did so and took a few photographs.
The sea creature has been confirmed to be a Sea Salp, which is a marine invertebrate that is made up of a gelatinous physique. Sea Salps feed off phytoplankton and are generally found in the Southern Ocean. According to National Geographic, they usually live in colonies and form long, luminescent chains to swim and feed as a group, although Fraser came across the Sea Salp swimming solo.
Even though the opaque sea creature is quite common, they are hard to notice because of their camouflaged appearance. “Their transparency is quite remarkable,” Dr. Dennis Gordon, Marine Biologist with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research told the New Zealand Herald.
Researchers are stating that the Sea Salp may be a different variety of the Salp, but everyone does agree that it is an animal from the Salp family.