nemertean worm

Why is all kitschy ocean-themed decor either “sandy tropical or New England seashore” or “tropical reef” themed?

I want to go to Goodwill and find plaster deep sea animals and abyssal vent-themed party napkins.
Or a bathroom set themed around rocky tidepools, with nudibranch decals for the shower and a chiton-shaped soap dish.
Maybe a room decorated in Open Ocean style, with faint transparent plankton on blue wallpaper, a few small schools of sardines, and a single enormous painting of a sailfish.
Or a sub-Antarctic room with an icy white ceiling, dark floor, and art themed around sea urchins and six-foot-long nemertean worms.



More of that weird nemertean with the branching proboscis. I love it, but it makes me all itchy and goose-pimply.

About 1,000 species of brightly colored nemertean worms—also called ribbon worms—inhabit the world’s oceans. One specimen reached an extraordinary length of about 177 feet (54 meters). But most are less than 10 inches (25 centimeters) long. Most nemertean (ribbon) worms are active predators. Some emit sticky toxic secretions to immobilize prey, which includes annelid (segmented) worms, mollusks, crustaceans—and other nemerteans. German zoologist Otto Bürger researched nemertean worms at a famous marine zoological station located on the waterfront in Naples, Italy. In the late 1800s, new marine laboratories in many countries opened opportunities for scientists to study ocean life at the shore. This illustration comes from his 1895 Die Nemertinen des Golfes von Neapel und der Angrenzenden Meeres-Abschnitte. 


Three-foot nemertean worms and carnivorous sea stars prowl the Antarctic in search of flesh. Finding a dead seal, the sea stars inject it with digestive juices … then suck it up like soup.

 Watch for the urchin at 1:25, that’s wearing a hat :)