New Creature Discovered in the Ocean May Now be the World’s Largest Creature


Zachary Ninomiya

The siphonophore discovered in waters off the coast of Western Australia is said to be about 154 feet.

Kylie de Best, Photojournalist

The ocean is filled with a variety of different creatures. From whales to zooplankton, ranging from the size of many school buses to sizes only seen through microscopes, we thought we have seen all the extreme sizes already. However, in a recent discovery, scientists discovered a gigantic creature measuring to unspeakable proportions.

On March 16, a science crew explored the Ningaloo Canyons in the Indian Ocean off of Australia’s west coast. When they were returning from their excursion, they were shocked when they unexpectedly encountered a ginormous, string-like creature gathered in a spiral shape as it prepared to hunt. After further investigation, the creature was identified as a siphonophore. Based on its diameter, it was estimated to be an astonishing length of 154 feet, easily twice the size of a blue whale. 

A siphonophore is made of tiny organisms called zooids. They will then clone themselves, each one serving as a different function, whether it be hunting, movement, or reproduction ( They act similar to jelly-fish, using tentacles to sting their prey, sending it into paralysis. Another method used exclusively by one type of siphonophore is a red lure using a  bioluminescent light source in their bodies. This makes them the first known marine invertebrate capable of producing a red light, as well as the first non-visual predator that uses luminescent lures.

Siphonophores also have a transparent, gelatinous composition, making it easy to see its digestive system, which can be orange or red. They can be found at depths below 200 meters, and they have no specific size, ranging from just centimeters long to more recently discovered 154 feet. Being a carnivorous creature, their diet consists of fish, tiny crustaceans, and occasionally other siphonophores. 

Of course, this discovery is very shocking to people, as the blue whale has always been credited to being the world’s largest creature. Maddie Liao (9) states, “I have never heard of a siphonophore before, but I can’t believe this one grew to be 150 feet, twice as long as the already huge blue whale.”

What makes this occurrence even more special is despite the tough environmental conditions they are able to withstand, such as frigid ocean waters occurring in pressure intense waters they inhabit, little impact can cause parts of them to break off (Aquaviews). Because of this, it makes it hard for the creature to grow very much, meaning this creature likely wasn’t around much.

 This creature has been a breakthrough for marine life. It has shown how little we truly know about the sizes of organisms in the ocean. In the near future, it is even likely we can find even larger ones, making this discovery just the start of what’s to come.