SCIENCE

No, This Isn't A CGI Stunt. It's A Real Jellyfish.

It really is!

It's hard to believe this surreal sea creature actually exists. But this is a real jellyfish.

Researchers filmed the curious animal in the depths of the western Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, near Guam, on Sunday.

It was pulsating some 2.3 miles beneath the water's surface, in the area of the world's deepest oceanic trench known as the Enigma Seamount. 

Okeanos Explorer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship, captured the astonishing sight via its remotely operated underwater vehicle, the Deep Discoverer. The footage went viral after researchers posted it on Monday.

"Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota," the NOAA said in a statement. It noted that the jellyfish has two sets of tentacles -- one much longer than the other.

In the first part of the video, it's suggested that the jellyfish was in "ambush predation mode" because its long tentacles are even and extended outward, while the bell doesn't move. 

Researchers speculate the red canals connect to the bright yellow objects, which could be gonads, reproductive glands that produce sperm in males and eggs in females.

The Okeanos Explorer team are surveying the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands using the vessel's remotely operated vehicle until Jul. 10.

It is probing bottom fish habitats, hydrothermal vent sites, mud volcanoes, deep-sea coral and sponge communities. Researchers aim to further understanding of the extreme life living in the trench.

testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks.
HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO