Looking like a creature straight out of one of James Camerons’ Alien movies, the strange animals have been spoken of since as far back as the 18th century, however have never been seen alive. Up until now, only remains and empty shells were ever found.
In 2010, a local news station in the Philippines interviewed a man who claimed he had eaten a shipworm for medicinal purposes. Since then, research expeditions have taken place, and have finally bore fruit.
“It’s hard not to be amazed when seeing one in the flesh, even if you know nothing about them,” said Daniel Distel of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center at Northeastern University in Boston.
“There is no other animal like them.”
The shipworms are a significant find due to the way they process different chemicals into food, and will actually aid in the search for potential extraterrestrial life in the universe. Incredibly, the animal is one of only a few species to eat wood.
The slippery creatures can grow up to an impressive 5 feet in length.