A new species (pictured) of gorgon’s-head coral–apparently named for its members’ resemblance to snake-haired Medusa and the other gorgons of Greek myth–was discovered just over a mile (1,700 feet) underwater.
The soft coral is one of many new animals found off Tasmania, Australia, by a recent expedition, scientists announced on January 18, 2009.
“There’s a whole suite of brand new communities down there. Some of them are really bizarre,” said Ron Thresher of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), which co-led the expedition with the California Institute of Technology.
The team’s findings include previously unknown sea spiders, giant sponges, and purple-spotted sea anemones. [National Geographic]