Ribbon worms are undeniably weird, so it's not surprising that curious humans sometimes can't resist showing off the animals when they find them. But a filmed encounter with one of these strange creatures, is a good example of why marine life is best left alone!
These fractal-faced worms belong to the phylum Nemertea, a group of animals that hunt using a tongue-like proboscis like the one you see shooting out above.
However, what you're looking at is actually just a single individual – and this worm is under an immense amount of stress.
Because their delicate bodies rely on water pressure to hold everything in place, ribbon worms do not fare well away from the ocean environment. In fact, they typically survive for only about ten minutes in the open air.
Basically the message is, please leave wildlife alone ❤️
Admire from a distance, and try not to cause them any stress 🙌🏽
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