Scientists piloting a distant submarine have filmed mesmerizing footage of a large phantom predator lurking within the deep waters of Monterey Bay, California.
The large phantom jellyfish (Stygiomedusa gigantea) was captured because it was serenely floating — its lengthy, velvety “mouth-arms” trailing round it — at a depth of three,200 toes (975 meters) by marine biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Analysis Institute (MBARI). That is considered one of solely 9 occasions that MBARI scientists have noticed the elusive creature throughout the institute’s many 1000’s of submarine dives.
“The large phantom jelly was first collected in 1899. Since then, scientists have solely encountered this animal about 100 occasions,” MBARI stated in a press release.
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The large phantom, which is among the many largest jellyfish on the planet, has been noticed within the deepest elements of all of the world’s oceans aside from the Arctic. Even so, MBARI says that sightings of the creature are nonetheless uncommon, because it normally lives too far down for people or distant submarines to entry.
The sunhat shaped-bell of the deep-sea dweller is greater than 3.3 toes (1 meter) huge, and it is ribbon-like mouth-arms can develop to greater than 33 toes (10 m) in size, MBARI stated.
Not a lot is thought about phantom jellyfish, however scientists assume it makes use of its mouth-arms, which stream like unfastened scarves in its wake, to ensnare unlucky prey and winch them as much as its mouth. The creature propels itself via the pitch-black depths of the ocean with periodic pulses from its faintly-glowing orange head.
Earlier than the deployment of distant managed submarines just like the one used for this expedition, scientists typically used trawl nets to seize deep-sea creatures. This was very best for learning some creatures, however not deep-sea jellyfish, MBARI stated.
“These nets might be helpful for researching strong creatures like fish, crustaceans and squids,” MBARI stated. “However jellies disintegrate into gelatinous goo in trawl nets.”
Jellyfish are a number of the most typical creatures to be discovered within the deep sea, the compressible, squidgy jelly of their our bodies enabling them to outlive extremely excessive pressures. Nevertheless, a lot in regards to the brainless creatures stays to be found. It was as soon as assumed that jellyfish have been largely unimportant in deep-sea ecology, however a 2017 examine by MBARI researchers confirmed that these cnidarians are literally among the many most vital predators in the dead of night depths, competing with cephalopods like squid, in addition to fish and even blue whales for meals.
Initially revealed on Reside Science.