Stunning collection of strange sea creatures spotted in Am Samoa

Breathtaking new footage from the first dives of the NOAA’s 2017 American Samoa Expedition has revealed a glimpse into the alien world of the deep sea.

A ‘cosmic jellyfish’ caught on camera looks remarkably like a UFO, spreading its opposing tentacles out like a disc as it floats through the water in eerie stillness.

The researchers have also observed a number of other enthralling creatures, including a ‘sinister’ pink anemone that looks like Venus flytrap, an ‘alien-looking’ hydroid, and a fish ‘out for a stroll’ on the seafloor.

The first cruise leg of the 2017 American Samoa Expedition kicked off on February 16th, beginning a mission that will last until April, allowing scientists to explore the mysterious deepwater areas in American Samoa and Samoa.

It’s been less than two weeks since the expedition started, but the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has already imaged a slew of creatures that are out of this world.

One of the most spectacular lifeforms they’ve seen so far is the cosmic jellyfish, spotted during the first dive on Utu seamount.

In the video, the glowing jellyfish is completely rigid as it appears to hover in the water, before taking on an entirely different form as it undulates to move away.

Then, like a UFO in the sky, it suddenly zips out of sight.

‘It has two sets of tentacles, some facing up and some facing down,’ the researchers explain in the footage.

The footage also reveals a stunning pink creature known as the Venus flytrap anemone.

Perched atop a dead coral – like a stem – it sits waiting with its mouth open, displaying an array of spike-like tentacles.

But, when the ROV approaches, the mouth closes up.

‘These are really beautiful creatures,’ the researchers say in the footage. ‘The tentacles of this anemone have stinging cells that have microscopic harpoons that inject venom'

‘These are really beautiful creatures,’ the researchers say in the footage.

‘The tentacles of this anemone have stinging cells that have microscopic harpoons that inject venom.

‘It can also use them just to grab and hold onto prey.’

At the Leoso seamount, on the boundary between the American Samoa Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Cook Islands EEZ, the researchers spotted another bizarre specimen.

A lone hydroid sitting at a depth of roughly 3,770 meters appeared to dance on the seafloor, with countless tentacles covering its strangely shaped body.

Read more at Daily Mail

 

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