Newly discovered deep-sea worm moves like a ‘living magic carpet’

The planet’s deep-sea worms survive and thrive in some pretty inhospitable places. Some are bioluminescent, glowing in regions too deep for the sun’s powerful rays to shine. Other sea worms can live surrounded by methane, one of the Earth’s most potent greenhouse gasses. Now, scientists have discovered a new species of deep-sea worm. It was found about 30 miles off of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in an underwater methane seep. Pectinereis strickrotti is described in a study published March 6 in the journal PLOS ONE.

[Related: These newly discovered bioluminescent sea worms are named after Japanese folklore ]

Life 3,280 feet under the sea

Pectinereis strickrotti is about four inches long and its elongated body is flanked by a row of feathery, gill-tipped appendages called parapodia. Parapodia help them swim in a wavy pattern. The worms are blind, owing to the total darkness that they experience 3,280 feet under the ocean. The team believes that Pectinereis strickrotti likely has a keen sense of smell and touch to navigate this inky black world.

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