This gnarly thing is a new deep-sea worm found in our @smithsoniannmnh’s collection.
The previously undescribed tiny creatures (officially named Sphaerephesia amphorata) are covered in bristles, wrinkles and wart-like bumps.
Experts don’t know why they’re covered in all that, or much else about the family of segmented worms that the new species belongs to, but they can live in some of the murkiest depths ever sampled by humans. It’s also not unusual for a species to be “discovered” in a large collection where specimens aren’t given permanent names until they’re carefully examined.
Shared by smithsonian (Smithsonian) and selected for Featured.