Its meals are poisonous and stink to high heaven, but when you’re a 2-centimeter-long worm living in the Mediterranean Sea, beggars can’t exactly be choosers.
Dubbed olavius algarvensis, the aquatic animal lives in sediment off the coast of Italy and relies on noxious gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide – the latter of which reeks of rotten eggs – for sustenance. Both gases can be deadly to humans.
Weirder still is that the wriggly little invertebrate lacks a mouth and stomach entirely.
“Olavius algarvensis has completely reduced its digestive system. Instead, it relies for all its nutrition on symbiotic bacteria, which live under the outer body wall of the worm,” said Manuel Kleiner, a Ph.D. student and researcher at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology.
Chemosynthetic bacteria under its skin produce nourishment by absorbing the gases in the water and converting them into energy via a process similar to photosynthesis.
"Several critical items related to NASA's next-generation James Webb Space Telescope currently are being tested in the thermal vacuum test chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
This image shows the Optical Telescope Element Simulator, or OSIM, wrapped in a silver blanket on a platform, being lowered into the Space Environment Simulator vacuum chamber via crane to be tested to withstand the cold temperatures of space."Source: NASA
To mark SpaceX's launch to the International Space Station, we thought we'd repost this interview with Elon Musk, founder, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, on 60 Minutes.