This Mysterious Deep-Sea Jellyfish Looks Like a Plastic Bag

Date: May 14, 2018

Source: National Geographic 
Author: Elaina Zachos

Roughly 50 years ago, the French explorer Jacques Cousteau was sniffing around in the deep ocean with the submarine DEEPSTAR 4000. Built in 1965, the vessel helped to identify life lurking thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface before it was retired in 1972. Among those species was a giant, tentacle-less jellyfish, which eventually came to be known as Deepstaria enigmatica.

As the name suggests, D. enigmatica is a mysterious specimen that hasn’t extensively been studied. The jelly resembles a large trash bag, with a thin, broad, delicate bell covered in a net of interconnected canals, and it lives about 3,000 feet deep in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Indian and Southern oceans. (Related: “Secret Lives of Jellyfish: Robots, Genetics, and World Domination”)

The jelly’s large size and remote habitat make it elusive, but some incomplete specimens, photographs, and observations from submersible windows have given researchers a picture of the species. And now, thanks to new technology and a recently published paper, scientists are getting a better look at D. enigmatica.

Continue reading and watch a video of this amazing jelly fish here. 

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