'Headless Chicken Monster' Filmed In Southern Ocean For First Time

It's the first time the deep-sea swimming sea cucumber has been filmed outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

The strange looking creature, Enypniastes eximia, or a 'headless chicken monster', was filmed off the coast of East Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.

Its discovery in this new area will potentially improve marine conservation, the Australian Antarctic Division said in a statement.

Enipniastes eximia, the 'headless chicken monster'. Image: NOAA

By filming these waters, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is collecting data on how marine life is being affected by fishing.

"The cameras are providing important information about areas of sea floor that can withstand this type of fishing, and sensitive areas that should be avoided," sad Dr Dirk Welsford, Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader.

While collecting the information, the Australian researchers have discovered species not previously thought to be in this area.

“Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world," he said.

Australia will continue to lead the way in biodiversity conservation, climate change and science-based fisheries management, said Australia's CCAMLR Commissioner Gillian Slocum.

“Australia will again be seeking support for the creation of a new East Antarctic Marine Protected Area,” she said.

“We will also support two other new Marine Protected Areas being proposed this year which will contribute to CCAMLR’s commitment of a representative system of MPAs in the Southern Ocean.”

The results of the findings will be presented at the annual CCAMLR conference in Hobart on Monday.