A nautilus that hasn't been seen in 30 years was suddenly spotted by an expedition deep in the waters of the South Pacific.
It’s a species that has been around for 500 million years, but has just been discovered have going missing for 30 years, and it may be the rarest creature on the planet.
It’s called Alloanutilus scrobiculatus, a mollusk that is related to other nautilus creatures that are in turn related to octopuses and squids, according to a Sputnik report.
It was finally spotted off the coast of Big Ndrova Island in Papau New Guinea recently after going missing for decades, thanks to the work of biologist Peter Ward of the University of Washington — the man who first spotted this elusive creature all the way back in 1984, just after it bad discovered for the first time by a colleague.
That colleague, Bruce Saunders from Bryn Mawr College, saw the allonautilus first and then for the last time in 1986, where it then disappeared off the face of the Earth for 30 years — until July, when Ward spotted his old friend again.
Ward and a team of biologists were on an expedition and dropped bait of fish and chicken deep under water — about 150 to 400 meters down, where the water is cold and nautiluses like to live.
Several nautiluses showed up, including allonautilus 180 meters down. They were brought up in chilled water, and samples were taken before the creatures were released back into the depths — where hopefully they’ll be found again, and in a lot sooner than 30 years.
The nautilus is marine mollusk of the cephalopod family. It is comprised of six species. Their unique chambered shells often make them the target of mining expeditions, which cause the species to become threatened.