In November, an underwater robot operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute captured this footage of a glorious Giant Phantom Jellyfish off the coast of California, more than 3,200 feet down in the ocean. The Phantom Jelly has only been encountered by scientist around 100 times since the first specimen was collected in 1899. From MBARI:
The bell of this deep-sea denizen is more than one meter (3.3 feet) across and trails four ribbon-like oral (or mouth) arms that can grow more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length. MBARI's [underwater remotely operated vehicles] have logged thousands of dives, yet we have only seen this spectacular species nine times[…]
Historically, scientists relied on trawl nets to study deep-sea animals. These nets can be effective for studying hardy animals such as fishes, crustaceans, and squids, but jellies turn to gelatinous goo in trawl nets. The cameras on MBARI's ROVs have allowed MBARI researchers to study these animals intact in their natural environment. High-definition—and now 4K—video of the giant phantom jelly captures stunning details about the animal's appearance and behaviors that scientists would not have been able to see with a trawl-caught specimen.