Photoshop Battles with this Image of a Hydrothermal Vent Polychaete Worm

I love that the internet can bring together collectives of people working toward a common goal on something for the greater good.  In beauty that is Reddit, we have the community of r/photoshopbattles that bring users together for “Photoshop contests on Reddit. A place to battle using image manipulation software, play photoshop tennis, create new images from old photos, or even win Reddit gold.”

User u/Karzdan posted the above image** of Nereis sandersi  to the Reddit forum. The polychaete worm is known from hydrothermal vents and described relatively recently by Blake in 1985.   Interestingly, N. sandersi is eyeless.

Furthermore, the presence of sunken depressions in places where eyes usually occur in N. sandersi is unique for the genus. The occurrence of such depressions is reminiscent of blind cave-dwelling vertebrates which have only vestigial, non-functional eye rudiments remaining from ancestral progenitors which had sight. The very large peristomial ring and enormous palps would appear to be appropriate sensory replacements for a sightless animal in the deep sea. -Blake (1985)

And so begins the Photoshops

Cookies. Not even once.

u/ 241baka



u/ xprmntng

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**note I am trying to track down the original photographer of the image to credit them here. UPDATE: credit goes to Nicolas Gayet from Paulo Bonifacio lab.

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.

2 Replies to “Photoshop Battles with this Image of a Hydrothermal Vent Polychaete Worm”

  1. Hi ! The original picture is an engineer from the french ocean institute Ifremer. The picture has been shot with a SEM.

    Best regards,


  2. Dear Craig, this picture is from my lab and the credit goes to Nicolas Gayet :) let me know if you want his email ;)

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