Bizarre deep-sea ‘worm’ as long as an arm revealed
National Geographic - 04/17/2017
Team leader Daniel Distel, a marine biologist at Northeastern University in Boston, plucked a specimen from the stink and packed it into a section of white PVC pipe, transporting it live several thousand miles to the lab of University of Utah medicinal chemist Margo Haygood.
“Seeing Kuphus for the first time was a highlight of my career. The animal has a mythical status—it’s like a unicorn,” says Haygood.
As Distel pulled the glistening, pulsating Kuphus out of its three-foot-long shell, “it just kept coming and coming,” Haygood recalls, until a shipworm, the size of a baseball bat lay on the table.