Creepy footage of an almost paranormal-looking sea creature has been captured showing the beast dragging an unfortunate fish to its death.
Diver Pedro Valencia was lucky enough to capture the footage and watch the bizarre phenomenon unfold in front of his eyes.
He knew he was seeing something special when he came across the bizarre 'creature' during a nocturnal dive, which had an eerie glow and had what looked like a pulsating head and tassels flowing from its body.
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But what Valencia had found wasn't a single creature after all, despite how it appeared – it was a siphonophore, a carnivorous colony made up of multiple organisms working together to survive that lives off a diet of copepods, small crustaceans, and small fish.
Siphonophores are extremely fragile, and to see them alive is extremely rare – making Valencia's experience all the more astonishing.
The eagle-eyed diver, 34, said: "As I was swimming looking for creatures to capture in video I saw something slightly bigger than the rest of the particles that were floating around'
"When I approached I noticed it wasn't one single animal, but a siphonophore with a fish stuck to its stinging cells.
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"This is very uncommon so I thought right away that something was off.
"Fish often use jellyfish as protection but not siphonophores. This was an indication that this was not a symbiotic relation but more a predator-prey kind of thing."
The footage, recorded off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico, shows the colony floating through the deep waters, emitting a glowing white light.
Where you might expect to see internal organs keeping the 'creature' alive, in their place are a complex web of branches connecting the parts of the colony like a ghostly ocean tree.
The siphonophore can also be seen dragging a lifeless fish through the depths.
"I'm no biologist but I've seen enough siphonophores to know this was a special capture," Valencia added.
"It wasn’t until I posted it online that I knew my suspicion was shared by many.
"The general opinion is that this was a fish caught by the siphonophore, I do not know if the fish was food or just found itself trapped and died by the stinging mechanism of its appendages."
While diving instructor Valencia has seen all manner of incredible ocean creatures over the years, this one has really struck a chord.
"Diving in black water over thousands of feet of water is an incredible experience that offers this kind of encounter," he said.
"There are not too many documentaries or evidence easily accessible to the general public about what's going on in the open ocean at night.
"So being able to witness and record this kind of interactions makes me feel like an explorer and fills me with wonder of how much we haven't seen that happens everyday in the vast dark ocean."
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