Rare Video Of Giant Jellyfish Is Out Of This World
Eerie footage of a rarely seen species of giant jellyfish shows the creature in its deep-sea habitat.
Stygiomedusa gigantea is a giant jellyfish that may be one of the largest invertebrates to live in the deep ocean. The footage, uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, features the reddish-purple jelly fluttering in the Gulf of Mexico at a depth of 3,300 feet.
Louisiana State University professor Mark Benfield, who encountered and filmed a different specimen of S. gigantea in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, verified the recent video’s authenticity in an email to The Huffington Post on Wednesday.
Benfield said he’s had a high-definition copy of the newly released video “for a long time,” but would not elaborate further. It’s not immediately clear who filmed the footage, or when.
Footage of the jellyfish Benfield saw in 2010 can be viewed below.
In the 110 years it has been known to science, the jellyfish has only been spotted 115 times.
The “bell” at the top of S. gigantea, known as the medusa, can grow to 4.6 feet wide, and its massive, paddle-like arms have measured nearly 20 feet long in some specimens.
Unlike the arms of many jellyfish, S. gigantea‘s appendages lack stinging tentacles, according to the BBC. Researchers aren’t sure of their function, but have suggested that the jelly uses its arms to trap its prey.
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