rare sighting of psychedelic jellyfish in the midnight zone
drifting steadily across the deep pacific waters, the ever-elusive psychedelic jellyfish was finally caught on video by the monterey bay aquarium research institute (MBARI) during one of its ROV dives into the midnight zone of the monterey canyon. this incredibly rare footage caught by MBARI’s robotic submersibles gives us a detailed look at the jelly’s mesmerizing anatomy: thread-like and glowing tentacles float around a multi-colored body, displaying a generous palette of fluorescent colors.
its scientific name, crossota millsae, was coined in honor of ocean conservation claudia mills, who dedicated her career to studying similar ocean creatures.
all images © MBARI
mapping out the ocean drifter’s peculiar biology
MBARI first discovered the crossota species back in 2018, but this latest sighting was ‘one of the most striking. [it was] a wild sight in the midnight zone. the remarkable coloration of this jelly tipped off scientists that they had found a previously unknown species,’ states the research team. that said, here’s what MBARI knows so far about the psychedelic jellyfish: it has a maximum diameter of 2.8 centimeters and a depth range of 1,000 to 4,000+ meters. additionally, the scientists successfully mapped out the biological differences between the male and female species.
the crossota millsae has thread-like and luminous tentacles
‘unlike many jellies, we can see obvious differences between the males and females. the eggs in the female are large and globular, while the male gonads are shaped like sausages.the baby medusae stay attached under the mother’s bell until they are ready to launch,’ shares MBARI.
a multi-colored body that glows in the deep sea
MBARI was able to map out the main differences between the male and female species
common name: psychedelic jellyfish
scientific name: crossota millsae
sighting location: midnight zone, monterey canyon, pacific ocean
equipment: MBARI robotic submersibles
video by: MBARI