In the latter half of 2017, "Blue Planet II" brought unusual sea life to the forefront of water cooler chats around the world. Now, scientists have released video footage of a jellyfish they’ve dubbed the “deep sea firework” because of its vibrant appearance.
The wondrous Halitrephes maasi jellyfish is found 4,000 feet underwater at the Revillagigedo Archipelago near California, Mexico. For survival purposes, the creature travels in near obscurity, but once illuminated by the ship’s light, the jellyfish begins to resemble an explosion of fireworks. The footage was shot by researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus shortly before the new year after they accidentally stumbled on the creature. The crew shared more information about how the appearance of the jellyfish comes to be:
Radial canals that move nutrients through the jelly’s bell form a starburst pattern that reflects the lights of ROV Hercules with bright splashes of yellow and pink. But without our lights, this gelatinous beauty drifts unseen in the dark.
The discovery was made during an ongoing project aiming to collect biological and geological data on oceanic seamounts, since this area of the eastern Pacific is largely unexplored. Follow more of the team’s mission at the EVNautilus website and YouTube channel.