Super Rare Vampire Squid and Deepastaria Jelly Sightings Delight Scientists
If you spend months at a time out at sea on a research vessel, you’d be forgiven for not getting excited about every new discovery. But scientists aboard the E/V Nautilus couldn’t hide their amazement at catching a glimpse of a Deepstaria jelly while on a recent research trip. The video footage captured by their Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) during the exploration is incredible.
Not only does it include the totally enraptured scientists losing their cool about seeing such an incredible creature. Watching the jellyfish hover in the water is absolutely mesmerizing. The footage was captured on a research trip in the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a series of islands about 375 miles off Mexico’s Pacific coast. To see a Deepstaria jelly in this areas was a particular surprise to the scientists as these magical creatures normally live in the cold waters around the Arctic and Antarctic. So to see the Jelly in this warmer environment was another special surprise. The jellies float on ocean currents and feed by waiting for small fish and shrimp to enter their mouths or interiors. “Capturing prey in its voluminous bell, a strikingly geometric network of canals delivers nutrients throughout this large jelly’s body,” the scientists write about the jelly in the video’s YouTube description. But the jelly wasn’t the only special animal to be spotted by the ROV.
Nautilus: a research vessel without a home
They also managed to find a vampire squid. This ominous-sounding squid is actually a very peaceful and incredibly beautiful animal. Feeding on what is known as ‘marine snow’ the squid lives in relatively shallow warm waters. Marine snow is comprised of dead plankton and fish feces, so the vampire is actually a great ocean cleaner. The research team captured some magical footage of the squid hovering in the water, it's full ‘skirt’ blowing around it like a dancer's costumes.
The scientists were testing out a low light camera on the ROV hoping to capture some bio-luminescence when they caught sight of these two animals. The E/V Nautilus is on a continuous global mission of ocean exploration. It is funded by the Ocean Exploration Trust, its director is Dr. Robert Ballard, who is most famous for leading the team that found the Titanic. The Nautilus is equipped with several ROVs that help it do deep-sea explorations across the globe. The boat currently has two ROVs in operation called Hercules, and Argus, as well as a multibeam mapping system, and mapping tools Diana and Echo. these tools let the scientists on board do research on the ocean to depths of 4000 meters. The research vessel streams live footage of its work at www.Nautilus Live.org. The channel is used extensively by museums and school around the world to give children and adults a glimpse not only to what is under our oceans but to give an insight into the life of a nomadic scientist. The live feed channel allows some users the chance to ask scientists questions and responds to what they are seeing at home.