One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of pelagic, colonial thaliaceans (tunicates) found in tropical waters, the sole genus of the order Pyrosomida, which consists of brilliantly phosphorescent, translucent individuals united into a hollow cylinder closed at one end; (also pyrosoma) an animal of this or a related genus.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in George Bennett (1804–1893). From scientific Latin Pyrosoma, genus name from ancient Greek πυρο- + σῶμα body.
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