Life 6,500 feet below the ocean’s surface generally sounds horrifying. It’s dark, cold, and there’s a whole bunch of creatures down there that look like they came from another planet or our worst nightmares. But there are, of course, some exceptionally pleasant little lifeforms. Take the Deepstaria jelly, which pulsates and undulates like a weird, fleshy lava lamp that reminds you to just go with the flow…of the oceanic currents.
The Deepstaria jelly, or Deepstaria enigmatica (celebrities, this would be a cool and unique name for your next baby, just saying), is usually found in or around Antarctic seas, but this one was spotted about 250 miles south of the Baja California Peninsula, around the Revillagigedo Islands. No word on how the stunning jellyfish came so far from its presumed home, but all we know is that it started from the bottom, and now it… continues to reside there.
Our last 2017 expedition launches today! We’re investigating shallow water volcanism and biological communities in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, 300mi offshore Baja California. Learn more: https://t.co/ARUlbVTYzF pic.twitter.com/EegkAbSEOi
— E/V Nautilus (@EVNautilus) November 8, 2017
E/V Nautilus notes in the video description that “This Deepstaria jelly awed us with its shapeshifting abilities as its bag-like bell inflated and undulated with current created by movement of ROV Hercules.” E/V Nautilus also notes that Deepstaria eats by capturing prey in that massive bell, which can grow up to four feet in diameter. Once the prey is captured in the bell, a network of vessels — which give the Deepstaria those stunning latticed patterns across its flesh — delivers the nutrients to the rest of the jelly.
You may also notice that the E/V Nautilus ROV blasts the Deepstaria with a pair of lasers. Alex Marshall, a marine biologist, noted in a tweet that those are used for measuring size, as the two laser points are exactly 10 centimeters apart. They also help the living lava lamp get the party started.
Deep sea lava lamp? The Deepstaria jelly awed us with shapeshifting abilities as its bell inflated & undulated with current from ROV Hercules. Capturing prey in its voluminous bell, a strikingly geometric canal network delivers nutrients through this large jelly’s body. pic.twitter.com/NS6iny7guf
— E/V Nautilus (@EVNautilus) November 15, 2017
What do you think about this Deepstaria jellyfish? Are you even reading this right now, or are you still mesmerized by its smooth, undulating body? Let us know in the comments below!
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