Planet Earth

NOAA Spots Yet Another Bizarre, Deep-Sea Dweller

D-briefBy Nathaniel ScharpingApr 29, 2016 6:45 PM
Screen-Shot-2016-04-29-at-11.14.38-AM-1024x944.jpg

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Yes, this creature lives on Earth. (Credit: NOAA)  It's often said that we know less about the bottom of the ocean than we do about the solar system. We haven't found any extraterrestrials out there yet, but there are still plenty of fascinating creatures to be discovered right here at home. Take the latest find from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 10-week mission to explore the depths of the Mariana Trench. This deep-water jellyfish, discovered over two miles beneath the surface, looks more like something from a science fiction movie with its spindly limbs and garishly-colored body. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGFh3UNvuCQ[/embed] Captured on camera several days ago by NOAA's the Deep Discoverer ROV, scientists say that the creature is a hydromedusa, a type of small jellyfish, likely belonging to the genus Crossota. Its tentacles are used to ensnare and subdue prey, which is why you see it floating with them outstretched in the beginning of the video — it was lying in wait for a fish to swim by. The yellow globules are likely the gonads, and the red filaments seem to connect them, the researchers say. Keep up with all of the latest finds from the expedition with a live-feed of their dives here. More fantastic creatures are sure to come.

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