What the Heck Is This?

Looks like some sort of scary creature, doesn't it? You may have seen this photo recently as it flew around the Web, but it is very, very unlikely you'll ever encounter the thing in real life. That's a hint.

Can you guess what it is? One more hint: It's nowhere near as big as it looks.

See a description and the full-size image below …

The image was taken with an FEI Quanta SEM electron microscope. The creature is a hydrothermal worm, tiny things smaller than some bacteria that near hydrothermal vents in the deep sea.

A microscopic hydrothermal worm photographed by an FEI Quanta SEM electron microscope.
A microscopic hydrothermal worm photographed by an FEI Quanta SEM electron microscope.
Credit: Philippe Crassous via FEI.com

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me, and maybe I'll use it.