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On This Day
Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 12:10 GMT
Furry 'lobster' suspected of being alien life-form
The animal's pincers are covered in sinuous hair-like strands

Marine biologists and NASA scientists believe a lobster-like creature discovered in the South Pacific may not be from this planet.

Kiwa hirsuta is so distinct from other species that scientists are beginning to believe the only explanation is this creature is an alien-life form.

A US-led team found the alienomic animal last week and there is a growing concern that this being may be a threat to our ecosystem and humans directly.

The "Yeti Crab", as it has been dubbed, does not seem to have a genetic code that scientists can interpret or decipher. "Upon examination of the cells we see no evidence of any DNA molecules." according to Dr. Andrew Margolis of the British Science Institute.

In what he has described as a "surprising characteristic", the animal's pincers are covered with sinuous, hair-like strands. It was rumored that Dr. John Bertlesman of NASA was driven into violent convulsions when he tried to extract one of the hairs. Scientists believe this may be a defense mechanism for the crab.

Isolation Recommended

Dr. Margolis told the BBC News website that last week the creature also emitted what was described as a "stench similar to burning plastic" and this smell rendered two scientists with amnesia. Both are under examination.

Ecology around hydrothermal vents   Image: MBARI/PAR 5/B. Virjenhoek/AFP/Getty Images
K. hirsuta is part of a diverse ecology that exists around Pacific vents
Also disturbing scientists is apparently the creature does not seem to possess a mouth nor excretory system. It has an airtight existence completely within its own shell.

Dr. Margolis and his team have been unable to penetrate the creature's exoskeleton. Drills, saws, and lasers have been attempted. An X-Ray of the creature provided no information because of the apparent density.

The creature has been placed in a isolation chamber for observation.

Creature Growing at an Alarming Rate

Paul Clark of the department of zoology at the Natural History Museum said the crab-creature has been doubling in size each week- although it does not appear to be eating anything.

Kiwa hirsuta   Image: MBARI/PAR 5/B. Virjenhoek/AFP/Getty Images
The dive discovered the animals at a location south of Easter Island
"At this rate the crab will be as large as a small building within a few months. If it does not stop growing we will have serious problems. Especially since we are not even sure how we would kill it if we needed to." Mr Clark told the BBC News website.

Researchers have found other small crustaceans in the area where this one was found and they seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.

Dr. Todd Oddman from the Lobster Institute, who found the crustacean and doctored this article, said that while legions of new ocean species are discovered each year, it is rare to find something that is a source for serious concern for the future of the planet Earth.



See the hairy-legged creature in the ocean

Pilfering crab has insect's nose
25 Jan 05 |  Science/Nature
Early sea spider flashes pincers
21 Oct 04 |  Science/Nature
'Oldest' hard-shelled fossil
28 Jun 02 |  Science/Nature

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