As much as a jellyfish sting hurts, and as gross as those blobs of washed-up jellyfish carcasses are on the beach, there is something undeniably appealing about a jellyfish floating in the water, minding its own business.
Take the gorgeous creature at the top of this post. That particular jellyfish was filmed earlier this week near the Mariana Trench during a submersible dive to explore an area called the Enigma Seamount. The jellyfish was spotted at a depth of over 12,139 feet. The NOAA researchers identified it as a kind of jellyfish called a hydromedusa, a part of the genus Crossota.
Watch the video below for a close encounter with the jellyfish, and notice its weird tumbleweed impression at the beginning. It isn’t ambling along hoping for a part in the next big Hollywood Western. Instead, it’s hunting, holding out its tentacles in the hopes that some prey will wander right in and get stung.
The dive that captured this footage was part of an expedition that runs from April 20 to July 10. Researchers onboard the NOAA ship the Okeanos Explorer will be exploring the deepwater environments of the Marianas National environment. You can watch live feeds of their dives in the Pacific on their YouTube Channel.