Rare giant red jellyfish snuggles up to ocean expedition cam

It rocks the name "Stygiomedusa gigantea."

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The research crew aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus has seen quite a few strange and wonderful sights under the sea. One of the latest is an ROV camera encounter with a large undulating sea creature.

The Nautilus team posted footage to Twitter on Wednesday from an expedition in the Pacific Ocean earlier this week. It shows a very big red jellyfish, believed to be a rare Stygiomedusa gigantea.

The jellyfish's appearance in front of the camera elicits some "wow" responses from the marine researchers monitoring the live video feed. They joke about having to clean the submersible after its encounter with the gelatinous animal. 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute featured the elusive Stygiomedusa gigantea in a 2015 video, calling it "one of the largest invertebrate predators known in the ocean." Its arms can reach nearly 33 feet (10 meters) in length.

The Nautilus, a project funded by the non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust, has been busy lately. It was part of a NASA effort to recover meteorite pieces from the ocean floor earlier this month. It's also famous for introducing us to a googly-eyed squid and a mysterious purple orb in 2016. 

The jellyfish video is one more intriguing example of the wonders hiding out beneath the waves.

These far-out animals fascinate and amuse scientists

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