Our planet, as much as we like to think we know about it, continues to remain mostly a mystery. The main reason for this is that we’ve only explored about five percent of the Earth’s surface. The remaining 95 percent are represented by the world’s oceans, and it is very difficult to properly examine the depths.
The reasons why it’s so difficult to examine the watery depths of the ocean are many, but they are all related to one thing – the extreme conditions at the bottom of the ocean. In fact, it is yet unknown whether humans could actually survive there, as there are freezing temperatures, no light whatsoever, and pressure equivalent to a person trying to hold fifty jumbo jets.
But this is what technology is for. Even though we’ve still got a long while before developing something strong enough to survive the deepest depths of the ocean, robots and remote-controlled ships are already diving deeper than we ever thought we could. The current target is the exploration of the Marianas Trench.
As the project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) went on for a while and is still on-going, a new species of jellyfish was discovered miles under the sea. The creature was discovered by the Okeanos Explorer, a NOAA ship that deploys remote controlled vehicles into very deep waters and uses a multibeam sonar to map the sea.
Making abstraction of the Okeanos Explorer itself, as it might soon get its own feature article, the jellyfish is one of the most hypnotic creatures ever encountered. Most likely belonging to the Crossota genus, the jellyfish was found some 2.3 miles underwater, in the Marianas Trench.
The animal is very beautiful, somewhat resembling a snow globe. It has two separate sets of tentacles, one short and one long. It also presents red radial canals resembling filigrees that converge upon the creature’s innards. These innards look like a bunch of bright yellow orbs placed in a circle.
With the help of the footage, the researchers even believed they found out the animal’s eating habits. It might just be that when the long set of tentacles is even and extended outward, with the bell motionless, the jellyfish is ready to ambush its prey. The team hasn’t seen it feed yet, but it does make sense.
Of course, now that the team saw that the Okeanos Explorer works so well, more effort will be dedicated to finishing the ambitious project. Scientists have long dreamed of exploring the Marianas Trench, and now they are. Maybe soon we will also be exploring the darkest depths of the ocean.
Image source: YouTube