Bizarre jellyfish discovered in Marianas Trench

29 Apr 2016

US researchers trawling the depths of the Marianas Trench this month have just captured footage of a pretty weird-looking jellyfish.

One of the strangest looking animals on Earth already, another oddity is being added to the plethora of beautiful, colourful and odd suite of jellyfish roaming our oceans.

Since last week, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been diving very deep into the Marianas Trench, thought to be the deepest part of the ocean, searching for new species of sea life.

And, a few days ago, it might have just hit the oddity jackpot, capturing this jellyfish at a depth of around 3,700ft in what is aptly called the Enigma Seamount.

It took a few viewings for us to believe this was not doctored, such is the colour make-up of the jelly.

Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota, which are very small variants of what we see all over the world. They are often noted for the colourful heads (bells) which this has in abundance.

The Okeanos Explorer has been logging its finds since the expedition began on April 20, explaining that the jellyfish in this video is in attack mode.

“At the beginning of the video, you’ll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless,” said the team.

“This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.”

You can watch the investigations live on YouTube, if it’s your thing.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic