New Hydromedusa Species Stuns Scientists at the Mariana TrenchThe Earth Site
Scientists working with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Okeanos Explorer mission have been investigating the Mariana Trench — the deepest site on the earth’s crust — for just a couple of weeks, and already they’ve spotted a brand new species.
Although the team has yet to give it a name, they have identified the specimen as a hydromedusa (a type of jellyfish) belonging to the genus Crossota.
Its notable features include a brightly colored system of internal organs, visible through the creature’s translucent flesh, and two sets of tentacles — one short and one long — which researchers observed it using to perform “ambush predation,” extending its limbs to capture unsuspecting passersby.
This isn’t the first new species discovered by NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer. Earlier this year, while exploring the seafloor near Hawaii, researchers spotted a never-before-seen ghost-like ocotopus nicknamed “Casper.” Have a look!
Check out NOAA’s deep-sea footage of this incredible new species, then read on for more from the Okeanos Explorer: