New forms of marine life is always interesting to me, because the shape, movement, life style, color of the new life form can become an inspiration for new ceramic art pieces. There have been a great many jellyfish in the news lately, I had a chance to report on one of these events even in the few months I’ve been publishing this blog (). Our fascination never seems to end with them, perhaps, because they keep showing up at surprising locations, and look unusual.
An NOAA research vessel captured video of a unique jellyfish in the Mariana Trench region.
So, what’s so incredible about this latest jellyfish? OK, so on this video it appears as the tentacles moving like a July 4th fireworks release the streams of flickering pieces. Bu then there are other things we can explore.
First, the species.
This is a new species within the Crossota genus. Other species of this genus have a transparent spherical or conical body with thin whispy tentacles. This new species seems to have very long tentacles compared to the size of the body. I wander if they do DNA analysis on these jellyfish.
Second, the depth.
The video was shot 12,000 feet below the surface, which is about 2.3 miles. Many of us would think twice to walk to store if that was 2 miles away. So this jellyfish lives pretty far below the surface. The pressure is incredible at that depth, so it’s weird to see this creature moving around in that environment. Nobody is certain whether this jellyfish wandered up from its normally deeper location, or if it swam deeper from its shallower location. My guess is that because plankton life (and this jellyfish is part of plankton) normally sinks slowly in the oceans, this jellyfish most likely came from shallower waters, and drifted down.
Third, the location.
The submersible was diving in the Marian Trench area of the Pacific Ocean. This is the deepest part of any ocean with the deepest point measured at 6.8 miles. This is a lot more than the height of Mount Everest standing at 5.5 miles. Another curiosity here that there is a such a thing as the Mariana Trench National Monument, as the Mariana Trench lies in waters under US protectorate.