The 'majestic headless chicken monster': Bizarre creature spotted in Southern Ocean for the first time

The deep, dark and oxygen-rich waters of the Southern Ocean are home to many creatures, most of which are hardly seen by human eyes.

For creatures like this one, it's probably better off that way.

Dubbed the "headless chicken monster" by the Australian Antarctic Division, the Enypniastes eximia has been spotted in those frigid waters for the first time.

It was caught on an Australian fisheries camera off east Antarctica, the government organisation said.

"Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world," program leader Dr Dirk Welsford said in a statement.

"Most importantly, the cameras are providing important information about areas of sea floor that can withstand this type of fishing, and sensitive areas that should be avoided."

The footage of the bizarre creature was posted on Twitter on Sunday, with a caption that truly sums up its magnificence.

"Behold the majestic 'headless chicken monster'," the Australian Antarctic Division wrote.

It's an apt description. The creature certainly bears a strong resemblance to a headless chicken, the red-as-blood body showing up stark against the blue ocean.

In reality, it's a type of swimming sea cucumber, according to the Australian Antarctic Division. It's only been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico before.

The camera's data is set to be presented at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting, which starts in Hobart on Monday.

Australia's currently pushing for a marine protected area (MPA) off east Antarctica, where the "chicken monster" was found.

"The Southern Ocean is home to an incredible abundance and variety of marine life, including commercially sought-after species, the harvesting of which must be carefully managed for future generations," commissioner Gillian Slocum said.

Last year the annual CCAMLR saw the creation of the Ross Sea protected area, spearheaded by New Zealand and the United States. It's the largest MPA in the world.

Newshub.