Even among the strange and mysterious group of ancient animals known as the jellyfish, the Deepstaria jellyfish is unique. A fact that has now been recorded on video by the Nautilus, a Pacific Ocean research vessel.
Fun fact: the Nautilus has also captured footage of a googly-eyed stubby squid and a weird purple orb.
Live Science reports that, halfway between the U.S. and Australia, the Nautilus spotted a jellyfish that appeared as a ghost….at first.
Then, it unfurled and they got a glimpse of the geometric mesh membrane that revealed its identity: Deepstaria. That, along with its distinctively flowing bell and lack of tentacles, are its most distinguishing features.
The rest of the video is the jellyfish changing shape, from what looks like a crumpled plastic bag to a blanket.
The jellyfish was first discovered by a submersible called the Deepstar 4000 (designed by Jacques Cousteau) in the 1960s, and since then it has only been spotted about a dozen times. Most of the details of its existence remain a mystery to researchers.
That’s not likely to change anytime soon, which makes this video all the more spectacular.
Science is so cool, y’all. Images like these make it pretty darn hard to disagree.