realmonstrosities:

It’s a deep see firework!

Iridogorgia are aptly named, the name means something like “gorgeous rainbow” or “splendid circle of colour”.

They’re deep sea corals made up of a stalk firmly attached to rock, which spirals upward. Lots of branches grow from the central coil and tiny polyps with their feeding tentacles emerge from the branches, looking like glittering sparks.

These are some of the biggest corals in the deep sea, with some reaching over 18 feet tall!

Given their slow rate of growth, big ones like that could be some 500 years old. So even if you’re fashionably late by a few centuries, you can still catch the show.

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