It’s hard to hold all of the ocean’s weird, incredible creatures in one’s head at once. Blob octopuses, gulper eels, and anglerfish all occupying the same milieu, understandably, is a lot of whacky outcome of natural selection to process. Here, as yet another oddball of the deep to keep in mind, is Crossota millsae. A jellyfish so colorful scientists refer to it as “psychedelic.”
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (or MBARI) recently posted the above video to its YouTube channel. For those unfamiliar MBARI operates robotic submarines that often turn up the bizarre aquatic creatures Earth has to offer. Including the gnarly, literally clear-headed barreleye fish. As well as the ultra-rare giant phantom jellyfish.
In the video MBARI describes Crossota millsae. As the institute notes, this specimen is the “most striking” out of all the jellyfish it’s observed in Monterey Canyon; a submarine canyon off the coast of California. Indeed the creature, which resides in the ocean’s “midnight zone,” looks like the immediate aftermath of a firework. With its bell beaming yellow and red in submarine light and its arms squiggling like leftover smoke in the sky.
MBARI notes that unlike most other jellyfish, there is an obvious difference between male and female Crossota millsae. The institute notes that eggs in the females of the species are large and globular. The males’ gonads, in contrast, take on the shape of sausages. (Baby versions of C. millsae also hang around in their mother’s bell before leaving on their own. And it’s adorable.)
Those who don’t yet want to leave the midnight zone, don’t worry. Thanks to MBARI and other research organizations, there’s an endless parade of sea creatures on display for the internet. Some of which may even put on a show even better than this one.
Feature image: MBARI