Deep-sea scientists stunned by “extraordinarily rare” giant phantom jellyfish

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Deep-sea scientists stunned by
Deep-sea scientists stunned by "extraordinarily rare" giant phantom jellyfish. Image - Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

One of the ocean’s most elusive and rare giant phantom creatures has stunned marine biologists.

One of the ocean’s most elusive and rare giant phantom creatures stunned marine biologists when it glided in front of underwater cameras.

The giant phantom jellyfish has only been spotted in the wild around 100 times since humans first discovered it in 1899.

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The creature lives in the so-called “twilight zone,” which is approximately between 1,000 and 4,000 metres underwater.

Image – Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in America were stunned and amazed at the sight of the massive creature.

“This ghostly giant is a rare sight,” they wrote.


“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 to more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length.”

“MBARI’s ROVs have logged thousands of dives, yet we have only seen this spectacular species nine times.”

Its huge size measures the same length as the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark, and is around half the length of London’s double-decker bus.


Image – Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

This amazing jellyfish apparently is also used as a sort of safe haven for other smaller creatures deep in the twilight zone, swimming into jellyfish for cover from larger predators.

“During an expedition to the Gulf of California, MBARI’s ROV Tiburon recorded a fish—the pelagic brotula —alongside a giant phantom jelly,” the team wrote.

“Researchers watched the brotula hover above the bell of its host and swim in and out of the jelly’s voluminous oral arms. The wide-open waters of the midnight zone offer little shelter, so many creatures find refuge in the gelatinous animals that are abundant in this environment.”


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Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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