An Underwater Fireworks Display? No, It's A Deep Sea Creature!

Khryss | Published 2018-02-01 06:16

Say hi to Halitrephes maasi, a jellyfish that looks like an underwater display of fireworks.

It was seen at 1,225 meters (4,019 feet) in the Revillagigedo Archipelago island chain which is about 480 kilometers (300 miles) off Baja California, Mexico. And thanks to a remotely controlled deep-water vehicle called “Hercules”, we can now see a footage of this bright jelly.

But don't get too excited yet. This jelly don't always actually illuminate such impressive display. Instead, they get to live most of their lives in complete and utter darkness. It is actually the radial canals moving nutrients through the jelly's bell that are reflecting the ROV's "with bright splashes of yellow and pink".

"Our mission is pure ocean exploration, which means we often come across things we're not expecting to see," digital media coordinator Samantha Wishnak told IFLScience. "During this dive, our team was in the middle of collecting biological samples from the seafloor when this stunning jelly drifted by."

"As the pilots and scientists prepared the remotely-operated vehicles to collect samples, the video engineer was able to zoom in and capture footage of this rarely-seen Halitrephes jelly," said Wishnak. "It takes a team to get this footage out to the world!"

"The Nautilus team use a multibeam sonar system (mounted on the hull of the ship) to acquire data that produces maps of the seafloor," according to a press release provided to IFLScience. "Once the data is analyzed and areas of interest are identified, the team uses ROVs to collect video footage and a variety of biological, geological, chemical, and archaeological samples."

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