Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 12th, 2012
The thing was dancing all over the viral internet, but was quickly identified.
Okay, so this deepwater enigma is no mystery: It’s actually a Deepstaria enigmatica, said oceanographer Steven Haddock.
“This bag-like jelly is not that rare, but is large, so rarely seen intact,” Haddock, a scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., wrote on his Facebook page “Jellywatch.”
“In the video, the swirling from the sub makes the medusa appear to undulate and it even turns inside-out … The web-like pattern is not a nerve net, as some comments have said. It is branches from their digestive system.”
This type of jellyfish is usually found in the south Atlantic Ocean; it has “oral arms […] terminating in curious hook-shaped organs.”
According to the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History, the strange species was first identified in 1966 — collected in a research submarine about half a mile deep in the Antarctic Ocean.
But, frankly, folks, it just reminded me of this other video: