Studying marine creatures that live in the dark depths of the ocean is quite difficult, but thanks to the evolution of technology, great discoveries have been made.
Indeed, a group of scientists found a rare species of jellyfish called “Deepstaria enigmática”, which looks like a plastic bag and lives in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the Indian and Antarctic oceans.
This mysterious species was first seen 50 years ago by French explorer Jacques Cousteau during a dive aboard the submarine Deep Star 4000, according to the National Geographic. But not much is known about it since it is out of sight of researchers, living in the aphotic zone of the ocean at depths of about 3,200 feet and in total darkness.
However, in November 2017, researchers from the oceanic exploration program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used a remote-controlled underwater vehicle (ROV) with an ultra-high sensitivity camera protected by a thick glass sphere, to get images of the dark ocean.
That’s how marine biologist and explorer David Gruber and his colleagues at the University of Rhode Island managed to record the strange jellyfish. Their findings, which include details on innovative technology and what could be the first evidence of an enigmatic Deepstaria, were published in the American Museum Novitates on May 11.
The jellyfish was located at more than 3,000 feet deep off the island of San Benedicto, Mexico.
In the video, researchers also noticed a strange feature of the jellyfish: unlike others of its kind it has no tentacles, which are used in the capturing of preys. The biologists believe that it makes up for that lack by suddenly contracting its wide dome to envelop its prey completely.
The creature made the movement in front of the camera, although it is not known for sure if it was a response to light, or if it was simply moving.