Bjorn Cary at MSNBC:
The mucus houses, or “sinkers,” are produced by tadpole-like animals not much bigger than your index finger. As sinkers drop to the sea floor, small sea critters and other food particles get stuck to the mucus and end up on the bottom of the ocean.
For years scientists have observed loads of life at the bottom of the ocean. But they weren’t able to find enough food — carbon — to support all that life. Sinkers, previously overlooked, may help fill that gap.