A study released in August sheds new light on a mysterious species of sea creature that has now been officially discovered in the Gulf of Mexico.
Reports of the creature date back to at least 2017 and in more recent years, footage of the creatures has gone viral, with many users on social media appearing to be creeped out by the species.
In 2019, the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium released a video of the creatures feasting on the corpse of an alligator.
According to a Saturday report from Fox Weather, the creatures are deep-sea isopods known as Bathynomus yucatanensis.
“Like other isopods, they are often considered insects, though they don’t fit into the category,” the outlet reported.
In a study published by the Journal of Natural History on Aug. 9, researchers from Taiwan, Japan and Australia noted that the isopods don’t actually hunt their prey.
Instead, they prefer to act as scavengers, collecting their food from creatures that have already died.
According to Fox Weather, the creatures can grow up to 1.5 feet long and, because of their whiteish color, often appear like “giant pieces of rice floating in the ocean.”
Regardless of any new discoveries, it appears that the creatures remain just as disturbing to social media users as they were when the 2019 video went viral.
In its own coverage of the discovery, CNN noted that the creatures bare a striking resemblance to the fictional “facehuggers” from the “Alien” film franchise.
Photos of an Newly Discovered Species of Large Deep-Sea Isopod https://t.co/sFJWCdjg1L pic.twitter.com/zGy4QD7V14
— David Papp (@DavidPapp) August 12, 2022
According to CNN, researchers believe many additional “huge isopods” may soon be discovered, as well.
The researchers noted that there could very well be many undiscovered species still lurking in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
Footage of the new species has certainly caused some commotion on social media.
“They can bite through the tough hide of a gator? Wow,” one user commented about one month ago on the 2019 video posted by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
“Reason #12,642 to never go into the ocean: Die and be food for football-sized roly poly bugs,” another user posted.
“We’re all food for something in the end…it’s true,” a third user wrote.
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