If you're looking for anything to help you push through to this long weekend, look no further. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is back again with another look into the intense lives of sea creatures.
This video was captured on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dive from the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer while it was in the Central Pacific Basin. It centers around a group of brittle stars, echinoderms with four-to-five forked and spiny arms that usually measure three feet across, and one lonely squid.
The mood is unmistakable as overly dramatic music dominates the scene. An innocent squid is minding its business and swimming by when out of nowhere a brittle star wraps its arm around the squid and yanks it down. The scientist commentators voice their emotions, a mixture of sorrow and admiration, as the brittle star continues to drag the squid down below to the mouth on its "stomach."
If you're like me, and apparently the squid, and aren't trained in noticing mysterious sea creatures, then you didn't see the massive group of brittle stars scattered across the sea bed until it was too late. Once the aggressive "serpent star" trapped the squid, there was no chance of escape. And after the other brittle stars saw what was happening and tried to steal the squid for themselves, all hope was lost for our little squid friend.
Scientists were shocked by this behavior since they previously thought brittle stars were calm scavengers, not ruthless predators. One of the scientists joked that the creature would better be named a "brutal star."
Not much is known about the creatures living at the bottom of the sea and NOAA scientists hope to continue their discoveries. NOAA started off with a video in March showing a shrimp demolishing a dragonfish in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, part of NOAA's effort to collect information about unknown areas of the ocean.
At least now we know to stay the hell away from brittle stars.
Subscribe to Science Solved It , Motherboard's new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.