November 3: Happy World Jellyfish Day!

Did you know that a group of jellyfish can be called a bloom, a swarm, or a smack? Despite the word “fish” in their names, jellyfish are not actually fish. No bones about it, they are invertebrates! Besides their lack of bones, jellyfish also lack a brain. Instead, they have a network of nerves, but no central nervous system. When feeding, jellyfish use their tentacles to sting their prey – they eat plankton. But what eats a jellyfish? Many animals do, including tunas, sharks, turtles, and humans!

In honor of World Jellyfish Day, November 3, NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research has compiled a few of our jellyfish greatest hits from our recent deep-ocean exploration expeditions in the Pacific.

 


 

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Jellies make their home in the water column -- one of the largest, yet least understood, biomes on Earth. On May 6, 2017, after finishing exploration of the seafloor, the team encountered several jellyfish during series of midwater transects from 1,400 to 300 meters (~4,595 to 985 feet). The dive took place in the Jarvis Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which is one of the few units of the monument where the water column is protected in addition to the seafloor.

 


 

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This spectacular little jelly was imaged during the first dive of the 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa expedition on 'Utu' seamount, on February 21, 2017.

 


 

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This beautiful comb jelly, or ctenophore, was seen in the water column while exploring Vailulu'u seamount during the 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa expedition. Rows of cilia moving in waves refract light to create rainbow-like patterns as the animal moves through the water.

 


 

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This "jet propulsion" jelly was recently found at Deep Twin Ridge in the Pacific.

 


 

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This coronate jelly was seen north of Pioneer Bank in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

 


 

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This jelly, found on a recent dive at a site informally called “Enigma Seamount” in the Pacific, might not look real – but it is!

 


 

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This unidentified jelly found in the water column while exploring the Marianas, the region with the deepest place in the ocean, is capable of amazing escapes.

 


 

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This “spaceship jelly” was found on a recent expedition to Wake Island in the Pacific.

 

For More Information:

Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts

2017 Laulima O Ka Moana: Exploring Deep Monument Waters Around Johnston Atoll

Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas

2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa

Deepwater Wonders of Wake: Exploring the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawai’i

2015 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawai’i

 

 

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