Yoda purpurata is a newly discovered species of acorn worm, a species of marine animal that is close to the evolutionary connection between vertebrates and invertebrates. But this particular sea creature is particularly memorable because of its resemblance to Master Yoda.
Photo by David Shale.
Yoda purpurata was discovered during the ECOMAR research program, which seeks out new seafloor-dwelling animal species at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using a remotely operated submersible. This little guy was found 1.5 miles beneath the surface by researchers from the University of Aberdeen. They also discovered two other species of acorn worms, but they are apparently less noteworthy for their lack of resemblance to Star Wars characters. The findings are described in the September issue of Invertebrate Biology.