The Animals of the Musashi Battleship

Musashi1944On November 1st, 1940 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched the Yamato Class Battleship the Musashi. She and her sister ship, Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed.  The Musashi was lost on October 24th 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II. On March 2nd, an expedition lead by Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen, found the Musashi at 1000m deep in the in the Sibuyan Sea.  An exciting discovery but nonetheless I found the invertebrates inhabiting the wreck as equally interesting.  Below, with the help of deep-sea invertebrate wiz Lonny Lundsten at MBARI, identify all the organisms seen in the video at the top.


0:07-0:13 (1) Clathrina sp. of sponge, (2) Ceramaster sp. (cookie seastar), (3) Corallimorph anemone, and (4) a white squat lobster (Galatheidae) on the sponge

Screen-Shot-2015-03-11-at-2.05.02-PM Screen-Shot-2015-03-11-at-2.05.14-PM

0:14-0:19 (5) White Hydroids growing on the valve wheel and (6) another squat lobster


0:20-0:25 (7) a yellow Primnoidae or Plexauridae coral (just right of 7) white corals may be a species of Corallium (example 1, example 2), (8) a spikey urchin maybe Aspidodiademaand (9) a swimmimg cucumber probably Enypniastes.


0:26-0:32 (10) a variety of small brittle stars


0:38-0:44 (11) Primnoidae or Plexauridae coral and (12) two orange Galatheidae squat lobsters


0:48-0:52 (13) Primnoidae or Plexauridae corals, but fouled with sediment or detritus and possibly dead

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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