Nov. 24, 2010 -- Scientists unveiled on Wednesday a gossamer, ghostly creature discovered in the deepest reaches of the ocean between Indonesia and the Philippines.
The squidworm, up to 9.4 centimeters (3.7 inches) in length, is far more elegant than its name would suggest.
Swimming upright, it navigates by moving two body-length rows of thin, paddle-shaped protrusions that cascade like dominoes.
Ten tentacles as long or longer than its body stick out of its head, along with six pairs of curved nuchal organs that allow the squidworm to taste and smell underwater.
Using a remotely-operated submersible, a trio of marine biologists led by Karen Osborn of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California found the previously unknown animals in the Celebes Sea at a depth of 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles).
"I was really excited," Osborn said of her first glimpse. "It was so tantalizing because the animal was so different from anything previously described, with the fantastic headgear."
Squidworms live about 100 to 200 meters (328 to 656 feet) above the ocean floor, a layer rich in undiscovered fauna and flora, scientists say.