February 21: Cosmic Jelly
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa. Download (mp4, 18.2 MB)

This spectacular little jelly was imaged during our first dive on 'Utu' seamount, on February 21.

The jelly (hydromedusa) is in a family of hydromedusae called Rhopalonematidae, which is known for the canals running vertically on the inside of the bell, gonads attached to these canals, and sometimes having two sets of tentacles.

Scientists have seen this species on previous Okeanos Explorer expeditions. In this video, you can see the perfectly relaxed arrangement of the two sets of tentacles; scientists think this is a position that allows for optimum feeding in the midwater environment at ~3,000 meters. Through remotely operated vehicle video observations such as this, we can learn much about the animals in the midwater and what they are up to when we can catch them in an undisturbed manner.

Learn more