We saw this mysterious organism at 2,035 meters depth on Retriever Seamount, floating 50 meters above bottom. We could offer no other label than strange gelatinous spiked plankton. Steven Haddock, a deep-sea biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, sent an email that evening telling us it was a phaeodarian radiolarian, a type of single-celled protistan that feeds on marine snow.

We saw this mysterious organism at 2,035 meters depth on Retriever Seamount, floating 50 meters above bottom. We could offer no other label than "strange gelatinous spiked plankton." Steven Haddock, a deep-sea biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, sent an email that evening telling us it was a phaeodarian radiolarian, a type of single-celled protistan that feeds on marine snow. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts.

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Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer