See the Weird, Wonderful Deep Sea Creatures NOAA Discovered in Samoa

Shaunacy Ferro

For several weeks, NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer has been digging around in the deep water areas around American Samoa and Samoa, finding out what exactly lies along the sea floor more than three and a half miles under those little-explored waters. The first remote expedition ended March 2, and the explorer brought back a number of spectacular photos and videos of the weird ocean life inside the protected waters of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, the National Park of American Samoa, and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Highlights include a Venus flytrap sea anemone, a cosmic-looking jellyfish, a potentially new species of ocean dandelion, and plenty of other marine oddities. The image above is of yellow zoanthids colonizing the skeleton of a dead octocoral.

SciNews did us all the favor of uploading a bunch of the footage from the expedition to YouTube. Enjoy some of the highlights.

The second part of the mapping expedition launches on April 4.

All images courtesy NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.