A brink-of-extinction deep-sea dancer, Enypniastes eximia, filmed in the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica for the first time in that region. The footage of the sea cucumber, which is colloquially referred to as the “headless chicken monster,” comes courtesy of new underwater camera technology being used by researchers to aid in marine conservation efforts.
Australian Antarctic Division shared the video on Sunday. This division is a part of Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy. According to them, the Enypniastes eximia had previously only been filmed in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first dance performance of the “Headless Chicken Monster” in the region. Witness the epic performance of sea dance maestro in the video.
This headless chicken monster—one of hundreds of known species of sea cucumber—spends most of its time buoying along the seafloor and using its “modified tube-feet” to feed on surface sediments, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They can swim if they want to, and use fin-like structures to escape predators or lift off the ocean floor. Sea cucumbers are an important part of the marine ecosystem—they’re sometimes referred to as the vacuum cleaners of the sea—but some are on the brink of extinction as the result of over-fishing.