Ghostly transparent sea creature that looks like an eel has scientists divided

A 'ghostly' see-through sea creature spotted by a swimmer has left scientists divided over what it could be.

The mystery creature was captured on camera by Amy Wainman, 36, who was going for a dip in the sea at Simon’s Town in South Africa’s Western Cape when she saw it under the water.

The long transparent being can be seen swimming through the water — and doesn't appear to have any organs inside it.

Recalling the moment she encountered the bizarre eel-like life form, Amy said:“When I first saw it, it almost looked like some floating plastic”

“But then it started swimming. It was like a dancing, clear ribbon.

“I had no idea what it was, I had never even seen a picture of one before. It was an amazing, magical creature to see!”

Bradley Stevens, a marine science professor who used to work at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, has offered one possible explanation for the mysterious swimming beast, claiming that it could be a large eel larva approaching the end of its larval stage.

He said: “Its size and location suggest that it is nearing the end of its migration from the mid-oceanic spawning grounds, and will soon become a normal-shaped juvenile eel.”

But Kevin Kocot from The University of Alabama says that one important detail means it's not an eel at all but a rare type of jelly creature, revealing: “Some baby eels have larvae called leptocephalus larvae that look superficially very similar.

“But if you look closely, they have a head and mouth at one end whereas this animal’s mouth is in the middle of the body.

“This is a cestum veneris, a very unusual comb jelly or ctenophore.

He said that the majority of jellyfish-like comb jellies are "more-or-less rounded in shape" and move using wave-like structures on their surface called cilia, but this variant instead uses undulating muscles "like a ribbon".

Amy, an experienced snorkeller, said she saw "several different types" of unusual comb jellies on the same day.

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