Researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus (previously) celebrated the new year with an unlikely guest, a beautiful Halitrephes maasi jellyfish found at a depth of 4,000 feet underwater at the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico. The vibrantly hued jellyfish looks like an impressive burst of fireworks when lit, but would otherwise travel in almost completely visual obscurity.
“Radial canals that move nutrients through the jelly’s bell form a starburst pattern that reflects the lights of ROV Hercules with bright splashes of yellow and pink,” the Nautilus crew shares. “But without our lights this gelatinous beauty drifts unseen in the dark.”
We’re starting this year with deep sea fireworks, and a spirit of exploration! When something remarkable floats by in the middle of sampling operations, our team quickly switches gears to marvel and document. The frilled tentacles of the Halitrephes maasi jelly came into view at 1225m in the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico.