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My encounter of the other kind: meet transparent, carbon disposing beings who use jet propulsion

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posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:01 PM
One day i was diving in the Red Sea, when i saw the most bizarre beings I ever witnessed:
It was a transparent row of tubular shaped compartment, about 1.5 meters long and roughly 5 cm high, pulsating and floating around.

When i dove nearer I realised there have been 2 other rows floating nearby.
It looked very beautiful, bizarre, fragile and alien at the same time.

Curious about what it was, i asked many other divers but even the more experienced ones looked at me like
I had nitrogen narcosis.

So I started to research (that was before the interweb was available, so it took me some time)

And found it: They are called Thalia democratica and belong to the family of salpidae (salps)

Let me introduce them to you:
They swim around in colonies and feed on plancton. They suck in water, digest the plancton and push the water out on the other end, resulting in a jet propulsion. Movement and feeding in one!

The fecal matter they propulse is carbon which descends to the ground of the ocean. According to Scientists they send up to 4000 tons of carbon a DAY (!) to the ground.
(Source: Scienceticker (in german)

So they do their fair amount of environment clean up on a daily basis, playing a good part in climate change.

Other interesting facts:

Salps appear to have a form preliminary to vertebrates, and are used as a starting point in models of how vertebrates evolved. Scientists speculate that the tiny groups of nerves in salps are one of the first instances of a primitive nervous system, which eventually evolved into the more complex central nervous systems of vertebrates.[3]

They have two life cycles, first reproducing asexually then reproducing sexually as sequential hermaphrodites, first maturing as females, and are fertilized by male gametes produced by older chains. !!

Check out the wiki on them with a beautiful picture.
And more pictures on google image

For me the thalia democratica is as well a metaphor for living together (democratica) in a peaceful way, doing good to the environment, and since they are hermaphrodites they would not even think about the old male vs. female topic.
And the transparency they display should be see more often in our politics and economy.

So now you know, what my profile picture is and why it is there.

edit on 23-11-2011 by svetlana84 because: added picture

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:15 PM
Cool post
"So they do their fair amount of environment clean up on a daily basis, playing a good part in climate change. "

If Co2 had any thing to do with climate change.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:16 PM
Looks like a new form of a jelly fish.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:25 PM
So the actual Salphia are only about 1-10 cm long, but they form long chains that can be meters long?

Never heard of these, very interesting.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:26 PM
reply to post by 8ILlBILl8

IF carbon has to do something with climate change? God I hope there's sarcasm behind your statement lol

2nd line

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:26 PM

edit on 23-11-2011 by sirissacnewtone because: doubled the trouble

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:56 PM
reply to post by svetlana84

its ""YEAA --you get a flag day""

for teaching ME something NEW!!!!

thx S&F

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Yes, exactly, the single animal is up to 10cm (other sources even state 20cm probably depending on water temperature and amount of plancton) and up to 3 or 4 cm wide. And they interconnect and form a row.

How exactly they connect, i do not know.

Another fact:

The marine pelagic tunicate Thalia democratica has one of the fastest individual growth rates and shortest generation times of any multicellular animal

Sometimes doubling or even tripling population in a day !
edit on 23-11-2011 by svetlana84 because: typo

posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 06:06 AM
Just found a video on the Thalia Democratica:

Gotta love the title: Underwater UFO ? :-)

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