The depths of the ocean are as mysterious to scientists as outer space. Researchers estimate that only 5 percent of the ocean has been explored, though seas cover 71 percent of the planet’s surface. 

Alexander Semenov, a marine biologist and photographer who heads up the dive team at Moscow State University’s White Sea biological station, drags an underwater camera along on his underwater explorations, showing the odd-looking marine species he encounters in a whole new light. 

In addition to his university work, Semenov is the leader of the upcoming Aquatilis Expedition, a three-year art and science expedition that will travel the world on a custom-designed yacht photographing and studying deep water organisms, uploading images and videos to the Internet throughout the process. His website is a treasure trove of colorful, high-definition close-ups of animals you probably didn’t even know existed. 

The odd-looking invertebrate above is a Clione limacina, also called a sea angel, or, for the less poetic, a sea slug. 

The marine invertebrate below is called a tunicate:


The brown-banded moon jelly:


Clione limacina, also known as the naked sea butterfly, is a sea slug that lives in the Arctic and other cold waters.


Metridium senile, the frilled anemone, looks like a crazy underwater tree: 


Ctenophora, or comb jellies, are predators that can devour small crustaceans:


Bougainvillia superciliaris is an Arctic species found along the coasts of eastern North America and Europe:



See more here

[h/t Co.Design]

All images by Alexander Semenov