Researchers Discovered a Bizarre, Neon Jellyfish Near the Mariana Trench
It feels like every other week we're learning of a new unidentified sea creature discovered deep beneath the ocean's surface. The latest exciting find from researchers controlling NOAA's Okeanos Explorer is a new species of jellyfish that looks like it belongs on a different planet, Scientific American reports.
The brightly-colored jelly was discovered earlier this week on the Enigma Seamount near the Mariana Trench. Explorer's remotely operated underwater vehicle Deep Discoverer was cruising 2.3 miles beneath the ocean's service when it captured the striking video above.
According to NOAA scientists, the animal is probably an ambush predator that belongs to the Crossota genus of jellyfish. In the beginning of the video, you can observe how the jelly fans out its tentacles like similar species do when waiting for prey to fall into them. The ring of electric-yellow spheres inside the jellyfish's bell could possibly be its gonads.
The Mariana Trench is about seven miles beneath the surface of the Pacific at its deepest point. Despite water pressure levels thousands of times that of what creatures experience at the surface, the bottom of the ocean is home to a surprising amount of life. Okeanos Explorer and Deep Discover will be surveying the areas surrounding the trench and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from now until early July.
Header/banner images courtesy of NOAA via YouTube.
[h/t Scientific American]