Translucent Sea Creature Catches Fishermen By Surprise (PHOTO)

01/22/2014 04:26 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Now here's a sight to see -- even though you can see through it.

In a unusual find, a fisherman in New Zealand recently netted a translucent sea creature. The jellyfish-like creature was floating near the surface of the water off the coast of the Karikari Peninsula.

"I just kept on watching it thinking what is this thing? It was the size of a coke can and just cork-screwing really slowly towards me," fisherman Stewart Fraser told ONE News.

Though hesitant at first because of its odd appearance, Fraser brought the sea creature aboard and snapped a few photos.


The animal has since been identified as a sea salp, a marine invertebrate with a gelatinous body. Salps are typical found in the Southern Ocean, where they feed off phytoplankton. While the salp Fraser found was apparently by its lonesome, the sea creatures tend to live in colonies and often form long luminous chains to swim and feed as a group, according to National Geographic.

While rather common, salps may be hard to spot because of their camouflaged appearance.

"Their transparency is quite remarkable,'' Dr. Dennis Gordon, a marine biologist with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, told The New Zealand Herald.

Researchers at the National Marine Aquarium speculated that the animal is a Salpa maxima, the Daily Mail reports. However, as one blogger points out, the translucent sea creature may be another type of salp called a Thetys vagina.

Either way, the translucent creature is quite the sight to behold.

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