MBARI’s research expeditions sometimes yield encounters with extraordinary animals. During MBARI’s 2003 expedition to the Gulf of California, scientists spotted this massive jelly known as Stygiomedusa gigantea 1,300 meters below the surface of the Gulf. Its enormous reddish brown bell stretched about a meter (three feet) across and its oral arms were at least three meters (10 feet) long.
The researchers also collected a small fish in the genus Thalassobathia that was swimming over the jelly’s bell and among its billowing oral arms. In over 20 years of deep-sea dives, MBARI researchers have only seen Stygiomedusa jellies three times, so finding this drifting behemoth provided a truly memorable experience.
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
* look at that frisky little Lumpfish (Psychlorutes sp.) clinging to the side of the bell :3
Check out this bizarre jellyfish! Marine biologist Enric Sala spotted it off the coast of Chile, where he’s exploring the remote islands of Desventuradas.
“Something is approaching,” [submarine pilot Ari] says. Little by little, the figure starts to become visible in our lights but we do not know what it is. As soon as I hear him say, “This is incredible!” I know that this sighting is an exceptional one. A type of jellyfish, but with hard parts, like feet, that can turn and swim in all directions hypnotizes us. None of us have ever seen anything like it. We record it swimming for a half an hour thanks to the submarine’s true dance that Avi pilots to see this beautiful animal from every angle.
The most detailed account of what lives in this area is from 1875, and Enric hopes that cataloguing what lives in the area—including rare or unknown species like this jellyfish—will help Chilean scientists and conservation workers.
"What a magnificent creature! One can only imagine what it might be like to encounter a full-sized giant squid in its native habitat. We’ll have to wait until the Discovery Channel documentary airs to see more than this little teaser."