Sea Pigs :)
The “sea pig” is the common name (i.e. non-scientific name) for a species of sea cucumber (in the class Holothuroidea) that lives in the deepest abyssal depths of the world’s oceans.
Specifically sea pigs belong to the genus Scotoplanes, a genus of deep-sea sea cucumber which currently includes four species. Sometimes other genera of deep-sea sea-cucumbers are called “sea pigs”, but historically, THIS is the one most people mean.
The name Scotoplanes has been around for a LONG time. The genus was discovered and described by H. Theel in 1882 as part of the famous HMS Challenger expedition reports. Sea pigs are ELASIOPODID sea cucumbers, an order of sea cucumbers whose members are prominent in the deep-sea.
They are often characterized by having these little legs that come off the bottom surface such as what you see here (legs on side, mouth pointing outwards).
One species, Scotoplanes globosa seems to be particularly widespread with a distribution that is WORLDWIDE. Yup. That’s right you can find it in the Atlantic, the Pacific, in the Indian Ocean and of course..in the Southern Ocean (Antarctica).
read more about these adorable little guys on this AWESOME blog