2016 may have been a bummer of a year on land, but what it unveiled under the sea has been nothing short of astonishing. Over the last 12 months, we've seen deep sea expeditions highlight such bizarre and beautiful creatures as the “googly-eyed” stubby squid, a glowing UFO jellyfish, a bizarre purple orb and now, the hypnotic feather star.
Perhaps you've seen these gorgeous feathery marine animals, scientifically known as crinoids, before — but for much of the internet, this living underwater plumage was unknown until the video below went viral this week.
Composed of some 550 different species, most crinoids have five arms covered in a multitude of feathery fringes. Each of those arms works to generate a current that pushes food towards the mouth. They're commonly found on rocky bottoms in shallow water, but have also been discovered at depths approaching 30,000 feet.
Needless to say, they're absolutely beautiful animals.