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Stunning New Jellyfish That Resembles A UFO Spotted In An Unexplored Seamount

First Posted: Mar 02, 2017 03:20 AM EST
“Cosmic” Jellyfish On “Utu” Seamount, American Samoa
A potentially new species of jellyfish was found in Utu Seamount in American Samoa.
(Photo : SciNews/YouTube screenshot)

The researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) 2017 American Samoa Expedition discovered a unique and mysterious jellyfish in Utu Seamount, which is an unexplored seamount in American Samoa. It was spotted by a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) at about 9,800 feet below sea level in an isolated area of the Pacific Ocean near American Samoa.

The newly found jellyfish is initially identified as Bethocodon hyaline, according to Allen Collins, an invertebrate zoologist with NOAA's National Systematic Lab. On the other hand, Collins said that there is a possibility that the jellyfish could be a species previously unknown to science. He added that it is potentially new. The specimens must be observed using microscope and genetics to determine if it is a completely new species, according to CBS News.

As seen in the image below, the jellyfish has the circular body that looks like a UFO. It has tentacles that are encircling its base. What are more attractive with this jellyfish are its colorful digestive and reproductive organs that glow like the red and yellow lights.

So, what makes it different from B. hyalinus? Collins said that B. hyalinus has gonads or sexual organs that are distributed along all eight canals. Meanwhile, the new creature has gonads that extend along only the outer half of these canals.

Jellyfish are soft-bodied aquatic animals that have a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and tentacles. The bell is used for acquiring propulsion and locomotion. Meanwhile, its tentacles are used to prey or defend itself from predators. These tentacles eject toxins in a painful sting. The species of jellyfish is under the subphylum Medusozoa, yet not all Medusozoans are jellyfish.

This creature is often found in the deep sea. Some of the jellyfish are large and colorful. It is reported that jellyfish existed for at least 500 million years and could possibly reach to 700 million years or more. This makes the soft-bodied creature the oldest multi-organ animal.

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