More than a mile down, hanging out near thermal vents off the coast of Easter Island, scientists have discovered a creature “so distinct from other species that they’ve created a new taxonomic family for it.” The “furry lobster,” which has pincer arms twice as long as its body and which has only vestigial membranes for eyes, may use its fur to trap bacteria, which it then consumes. Or maybe not. This kind of thing fills me with awe.
Mark Morford of the SF Chronicle:
Just look. Kiwa hirsuta is just a little bit mesmerizing, strange, stirs up something deep and potent. An eyeless, albino, crablike animal, sublime and magical and perfect in its alien weirdness … like something straight out of a medieval bestiary, a Sendak book, a Castaneda shaman’s peyote dream. It’s not a lobster. It’s not a crab. It’s not anything anyone really understands — and why is it covered in silky blond hair? They don’t know that, either. It just is. Just one of those things. Like why the whales sing. Like why some parrots can tell you who’s calling before you pick up the phone. Like the existence of dark matter. We just don’t know. And what’s more, the sheer volume, the breathtaking amount of information we don’t know is so mind-boggling and perspective-humping that you take one look at the Kiwa and only say, Hi again, wicked gorgeous unimaginable vastness of the universe.