A Rare ‘Headless Chicken Monster’ Was Captured on Camera & It’s Creepy As Hell

As beautiful and majestic as the ocean may be, you don't have to look too far beneath the surface to realize it's also teeming with creatures that wouldn't seem out of place in a Tim Burton movie. Ambling around the depths, you could stumble across everything from ghost sharks, to shape-shifting eels, to any number of nightmarish deep-sea swimmers sporting the sort of fanged, gaping mouths that only a mother could love. 

It's also possible that you'll stumble across something known as a "headless chicken monster," which you may actually be able to identify now, thanks to some incredibly rare footage captured of one in the wild.

The mysterious and bulbous creature, which has only been filmed in the wild once before, was just caught on camera off the coast of Antarctica by scientists in the Australian Antarctic Division exploring the Southern Ocean. Although it's commonly referred to as a "headless chicken monster," it's technically known as the enypniastes eximia, or a swimming sea cucumber. Still, one glance at its weird pseudo-winged body and you'll quickly realize why it got its nickname. 

The creature was spotted roughly two miles below the surface by cameras the scientists were using to identify where the most vulnerable populations of wildlife are in the area in an effort to help the fishing industry steer clear of them.

"Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world," said AAD program director Dr. Dirk Welsford in a press release.

And while it's unlikely you'll ever end up spotting one of these bright red blobby beings up-close in the wild, you should take comfort knowing that they're pretty much harmless to humans (unless you count the nightmares they might trigger).


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.