Scientists are wondering if it might be a new species.
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The sea pen made its appearance during a visit by a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, to an unexplored seamount near Johnston Atoll, a remote spot to the west of Hawaii in the Pacific. It was unexpected. This is the first time this animal has been spotted in the Pacific. It's normally found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Nautilus came across two examples during the dive.
A video shot at a depth of 9,823 feet (2,994 meters) shows the moment of discovery, along with commentary from excited researchers. "That looks wicked," says one of them after the ROV got a close-up shot of the creature's food-capturing tentacles. For scale, the sea pen's stalk is 6.6 feet (2 meters) long.
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