A rare encounter with the freaky Deepstaria jellyfish

Recently a team of marine scientists were piloting a submersible when they had a super-rare encounter with a Deepstaria jellyfish. It starts off looking like a ghost and then turns inside out and spreads out into a crazy translucent film.

It's gorgeous and eerie to watch, but make sure you turn the sound up -- the real fun is listening to the scientists talk. Half the time they're discussing the biology of the creature, and the other half they're just going whoooooah and oooooooooo and zooooommgg, so the whole event exists in the rapid quantum flipzone between "hardcore science" and "baked dormroom conversation".

I would totally watch a 24/7 network that consisted of nothing but marine biologists flipping out while watching crazy undersea footage.

From Popular Science:

Deepstaria is as mysterious as it is rare, a shapeshifter whose body exists somewhere on a spectrum between enormous trash bag and ghostly lampshade. Last week, these researchers used a remotely operated vehicle to capture a video of the freaky jelly.

The jellyfish in the video is roughly the size of a trash can. This deep-sea jelly lacks tentacles, and appears in the shape of a thin, membrane-like bell. Up close, you can see a geometric mesh pattern made up of canals that provide structural support and deliver nutrients to the body. In 2015, Wired referred to it as a “floating blanket.” [snip]

The team watches as the animal swoops, undulates and puckers like a possessed plastic bag. But this mesmerizing movement isn’t what makes the video so valuable for scientists.

This video represents the rare instance of observing the jellyfish in its natural, undisturbed state, says Brennan Phillips, an engineer who has worked on prior Nautilus expeditions. Normally (99.9% of the time, according to Phillips) Deepstaria is shaped like an upside-down bucket, just hanging out trying to catch prey (this is the shape it appears in during the first 40 seconds of the video).