An ethereal, ‘cosmic’ jellyfish was spotted in some of the deepest reaches of the ocean, hovering near a previously unexplored seamount.
The luminous sea creature, which may be a completely new species, was spotted by a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) roughly 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) below sea level in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean near American Samoa. The creature was discovered at the previously unexplored seamount, called Utu Seamount, by the members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2017 American Samoa Expedition.
After the dive, Allen Collins, an invertebrate zoologist with NOAA’s National Systematics Lab, initially identified the creature as Benthocodon hyalinus. Still, there’s a possibility that the jellyfish could be a species previously unknown to science, Collins said.