Shea, B. et al
A team of marine biologists chasing the Alvinella hermitus, an elusive tube worm known to live only in extreme deep-sea habitats, has just released a video apparently showing the creature mouthing ‘go away’ and flipping them off. After decades without a sighting, the team says the new communication has given them the boost they needed to continue researching the curmudgeonly worm.
“The worm is somehow able to survive in the deep pressure and scalding waters around these hydrothermal vents, which are inhospitable to human divers and challenging to access even with remotely-operated equipment,” says Dr. Earl Byrd. “It’s almost like these worms don’t want to be found!”
Clocking in at 43 seconds, the video shows the creature twisting and turning through bubbling water. “It was doing some sort of mating dance to us,” said Byrd. Further examination of the video revealed that the polychaete worm appears was spelling out the Latin alphabet letters G, T, F, and O.
“This species is so hard to track down, I’ve been trying to get footage like this for years!” said Byrd. “This worm is my Moby Dick,” said one biologist of the flaccid white worm.
The worm recently filed a restraining order against the biologist.
At press time, Alvinella hermitus is unavailable for comment, as Byrd has piloted the team’s last available remotely operated vehicle into the funnel of an undersea volcano, where it was destroyed.