It turns out the Flying Spaghetti Monster - deity of Pastafarianism - bears a striking resemblance to the deep sea Siphonophore.
Just as life imitates art, apparently evolution imitates web memes and religious satire. Ten years after the social movement Pastafarianism formed to satirize intelligent design - largely through tales of a Flying Spaghetti Monster - the internet has stumbled across an actual creature resembling its deity. Located in the deep sea near Angola, the Siphonophore matches the Spaghetti Monster's appearance far more than any deity on toast you've seen recently, promting video footage to quickly spread across the internet.
"This unusual creature has sparked a huge reaction on the internet with over a quarter of a million people watching the video over the last week!" Daniel Jones of the UK National Oceanography Centre said. "The video was sent to me by oil industry ROV pilots through the SERPENT network. It is a great example of how collaboration with industry can allow us to see much more of the deep sea and its strange and wonderful marine life."
Filmed by BP near an oil well, the team had no idea what they were looking at, preferring to call it a Flying Spaghetti Monster. But in reality, the Siphonophorae is a marine colony animal made of several distinct organisms - The Escapist highlighted the creature in our first Strange Science column. This specific example belongs to Bathyphysa conifera, which happens to resemble the Flying Spaghetti Monster just enough to get widespread attention online.
While the Siphonophorae isn't an actual Flying Spaghetti Monster (it needs to fly for a start) it can resemble the Pastafarian icon in other respects. Outside of its noodly appendages, the Siphonophorae can grow to an enormous size, with recorded lengths of 40 meters long.
Still, don't be surprised if this event becomes part of Pastafarian cosmology - presumably the Spaghetti monster is underwater to find the pirates which can turn global warming around.
Source: The Independent