Researchers spot exotic creatures in marine national monument
Honolulu, HAWAII - A research vessel pulled into Honolulu Harbor on Monday, wrapping up an expedition to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
The E/V Nautilus left from American Samoa about three weeks ago, carrying 27 scientists from across the country.
The team exploring marine life on ancient underwater volcanoes had some thrilling encounters.
A shape-shifting Deepstaria jelly had a small crustacean living inside its body.
“Inside we could see that little pink isopod, it’s a relative of the pillbug, and it measures maybe two to three inches in length,” said co-lead scientist Emil Petruncio. “We’re not sure of the relationship there. It doesn’t seem to be harming the jelly.”
The scientists also mapped the seafloor in the monument, which includes Johnston Atoll and Jarvis Island.
Another highlight of the expedition was the sighting of a Cirrotheutid octopus on the volcanic slopes of Baker Island.