mad-as-a-marine-biologist: Seafloor “Flower”
Photograph courtesy NOAA OOER
Lying like a flower on the seafloor, this newfound acorn worm has a color that poses an intriguing question for scientists.
“Why this brilliant purple, the dark reds, these amazing colors at depths where there is no light? I can’t tell you,” Osborn said.
“We see brilliant purples and reds [in other worm species] at depths of 500 or 1,000 meters [1,640 or 3,280 feet] where there is very little light, because [such colors] look black there, so those colors are great camouflage.
“But here, where there is no light at all except that produced by organisms, there seems no reason to spend energy making yourself these colors when nothing can see them.
“There is a reason,” Osborn added. “We just have to figure out what it is.”