January 4, 2012 by staff
Hasselhoff Crabs, The Hoff will be honoured, we’re sure… a species of crab with a ‘hairy chest’ has been temporarily named after Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff after being discovered as part of a ‘lost world’ in the deep sea near Antarctica.
The Hoff, have you heard? David Hasselhoff has had the yeti crab named after him on account of its hairy chest (Picture: Oxford University)
In addition to the unknown species of crabs, starfish, anemones and an octopus were discovered around volcanic vents in the Southern Ocean.
They were spotted by a robot submersible at depths of 2,000metres (6,500ft) in areas where the vents can raise the temperature to 380C (720F).
‘The vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet,’ said Prof Alex Rogers, of Oxford University’s zoology department.
‘They get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals such as hydrogen sulphide.
An anemone was found 2,000m below the ocean surface (Picture: Oxford University)
The creatures survive in the sunless environment because it contains minerals that sustain life.
‘This first survey of these particular vents has revealed a hot, dark, “lost world” in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive.’
Among the newly discovered animals, as well as huge colonies of the yeti crab, are a seven-armed starfish and a mysterious pale octopus.
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