Last week, scientists discovered a glowing jellyfish believed to be an ambush predator.
The almost fake-looking jellyfish was spotted on the Enigma Seamount near the Mariana Trench, 2.3 miles underwater. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel Okeanos Explorer is collecting data from the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, two areas where little is known about the environment, and made the find.
The Smithsonian adds:
Judging by its brief stint on video, marine biologists say that it is likely a type of jellyfish called a “hydromedusa” belonging to the genus Crossota. While many jellyfish species go through a stationary polyp phase before growing into gooey, drifting blobs, Crossota jellies spend their whole lives floating freely through the ocean.
Scientists believe the jellyfish, which glows red and yellow, belongs to the genusCrossota. After seeing the jellyfish stretch out its tentacles, they also think it is an ambush predator. For the next nine weeks, the Okeanos Explorer will continue to make its way around this mysterious part of the sea, looking for fish, sponges, coral, mud volcanoes, and hydrothermal vent sites.
If you want to watch along as the scientists explore the seafloor, there’s a handy livestream of their current expedition. Most of their dives begin at 4:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time and end around 12:30 A.M., with replays of the night’s discoveries playing during the daylight hours.