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It may look like a billowing piece of garbage, but this odd-looking purple creature is actually a rare discovery that has scientists giddy with excitement.
Siphonophores, a member of the phylum Cnidaria, are among the group of organisms that includes the famous- and famously painful when it stings- Portuguese man-of-war. Siphonophores are not actually jellyfish; they’re “colonial animals” comprised of small, interdependent life-forms called zooids. They’re also tough to see.