If you ever find yourself at the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents, a cluster of fissures in the ocean floor off the coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island, you might get the eerie feeling that you’re not alone. And you'd be right: The vents are an oasis for life in the desert of the deep sea, and host an odd assortment of creatures. Tubeworms and brittle stars live snugly side by side—some half a million per square meter—while spider crabs creep about.
However unexpected it is that these animals could thrive around holes that constantly spew 239-degree fluid and toxic chemicals, they’re not what makes you uneasy. Rather, it’s the ragged humanoid shape you spot in the darkness, 7000 feet below the surface.
Dudley is a plywood mannequin modeled and named after Dudley Foster, the submarine pilot who accompanied researchers on an voyage to the vents in the early 1990s. The scientists placed him nearby on the sea floor to mark the site and provide scale for the surrounding terrain. After more than two decades underwater, Dudley has seen better days. He’s drifted from his original spot and wound up closer to the vents and their eruptions, which have left him scorched, short an arm and looking appropriately creepy for his surroundings.
[h/t Earth Touch]