No, it is not an Exogorth.
It is a hydrothermal worm and it was photographed by Philippe Crassous using a scanning electron microscope, the Huffington Post reported Monday. Measuring in at 568/1000 of a millimeter, these deep-sea life forms populate hydrothermal vents, or cracks in the earth’s surface from which streams of heated water emit. Hydrothermal worms are just larger than an atom and remain one of the smallest living creatures on the planet.
This is the second teensy terror to be discovered in as many months. Last month, the first multicellular organisms to be discovered in the earth’s subsurface were found in a South African gold mine. The creepy crawlies were dubbed Halicephalobus mephisto (worms from hell), but we agree with HuffPo that the name is more apt for these toothy sea worms.
Time and again, discoveries such as this not only illustrate how far we have advanced technologically in such a short time, but further prove that there are as many secrets and surprises still to be discovered on our planet as there are beyond it. This might only be the tip of the iceberg in terms of discovering and analyzing life at assumed uninhabitable depths.
Let’s hope the next one isn’t big enough to eat the Millennium Falcon.