Biologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have managed to record the rare appearance of a giant ghost jellyfish in Monterey Bay, California. The animal, which measures approximately 10 meters, was seen swimming at about 975 meters deep.
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The jellyfish belongs to the species Stygiomedusa gigantea, and was first seen in 1899. It was only 60 years after this first record that scientists recognized it as a new species. According to MBARI, even today scientists still know very little about the jellyfish.
“The giant ghost jellyfish’s high-definition video captures stunning details about the animal’s appearance and behavior that scientists would not be able to see with a specimen captured by a trawl,” the Institute acknowledges.
Biologists assume that the species feeds on plankton and small fish and inhabits the bathypelagic zone, a deep layer of the ocean, with depths ranging from 1000m to 4000m below the surface. MBARI argues that these records should allow researchers to study these intact animals in their natural environment.