Giant Prehistoric Amoeba the Size of Your Hand

Photo credit: Lisa Levin & David Checkley

Dinosaur movies have taught us that things were a lot larger back in prehistoric times, but this is ridiculous! Scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography have found a giant amoeba the size of your hand:

During a July 2011 voyage to the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, the deepest region on the planet, Scripps researchers and National Geographic engineers deployed untethered free-falling/ascending landers equipped with digital video and lights to search the largely unexplored region. The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled animals exclusively found in deep-sea environments. Xenophyophores are noteworthy for their size, with individual cells often exceeding 10 centimeters (4 inches), their extreme abundance on the seafloor and their role as hosts for a variety of organisms.


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