Scaly, see-through thing surprises fisherman

Story highlights

  • The fisherman found a salp, a scientist says
  • The creatures are plankton eaters found around the world
  • Salps are important part of the ocean food chain
Did a fisherman pull some sort of shape-shifting alien from the ocean off New Zealand?
If you've ever seen the 1989 movie "The Abyss," you have an idea what I'm talking about.
When Stewart Fraser spotted the translucent creature floating in the Pacific 40 miles off the North Island's Karikari Peninsula, he wasn't sure he even wanted on his boat, he told the UK's Mail Online.
"I was in two minds whether to haul it in, but curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a closer look," he told the Mail. "It was quite something, and I'd never seen anything like it before."
Dennis Gordon, a scientist with New Zealand's NIWA water and atmospheric research agency, told the New Zealand Herald the see-through creature is a salp, and it's really not that rare. Salps are found around the world, and often in big numbers, scientists say. While Fraser pulled up a lone salp, scientists say they have often been found in chains more than 30 feet long.