Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
Deep-sea spider

One of the five photographs of the deep-sea spider.

Classification Arthropoda
Proposed scientific names
Other names
Sea reported Pacific Ocean
First reported 1989
Prominent investigators • Hjalmar Thiel
• Gerd Schriever

The deep-sea spider was a deep sea cryptid, an arachnid-like invertebrate seen and photographed in February 1989, at a depth of 13,616' in the Pacific Ocean off Peru, by the DISCOL Expedition.[1]

Initially, researchers Hjalmar Thiel and Gerd Schriever tentatively identified the animal as a tailless whip scorpion, which are strictly terrestrial.[2] An alternate explanation was a sea spider (subphylum Pycnogonida), with its ovigers mistaken for an extra pair of legs.[1] In 2004, however, Thiel and Schriever, alongside Angelika Bradnt, Marina Malyutina, and Christian Borowski, reidentified the animal as a species of Paropsurus, an isopod. The photographs, which show the animal attracted to bait, represent the first evidence of possible carnivory in the detritivorous family Munnopsidae.[3]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, ABC-CLIO, Inc., ISBN 1576072835
  2. Thiel, H. & Schriever, G. "The DISCOL Enigmatic Species: A Deep-Sea Pedipalp?," Senckenbergiana Maritima, Vol. 20 (1989)
  3. Brandt, A. & Malyutina, M. & Borowski, C. & Schriever, G. & Thiel, H. "Munnopsidid Isopod Attracted to Bait in the DISCOL Area, Pacific Ocean," Mitteilungen aus den Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut, Vol. 101 (2004)