There are jellyfish, and then there are jellyfish. This little guy belongs in that latter category. He (she? it? do jellyfish even have genders?) was identified earlier this week 3,700 meters—that’s over two miles!—underwater during Dive 4 of the Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas, in the Enigma Seamount.
According to NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, which posted the video on their Facebook page, the futuristic-looking-slash-cute jellyfish is a hydromedusa belonging to the genus Crossota.
Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you’ll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. 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.
Gonads? So maybe it’s a he?
Whatever the case, this doesn’t have to be the last you see of the bottom of the ocean. Until July 10, you can watch—live, from the safe, oxygen-rich environment of your own home—footage of NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer’s Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas. Remotely Operated Vehicle dives like the one that captured the hydromedusa take place between approximately 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Fiji time. So basically you can be just as much of an explorer as these deep-sea professionals. What a world we live in!
Check out the jellyfish footage below.