The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been conducting deep sea explorations off the coast of the United States for the past 20 years. These expeditions help fill in the gaps in our knowledge of deep sea life. During a recent expedition in the Hydrographer Canyon, located about 100 miles southeast of Nantucket, researchers found a potential new species of jellyfish from the Poralia genus. This red jellyfish was found swimming at a depth of 2,297 feet and the resulting photograph captures its spectacular red bell opening as it floats around.

A total of four samples were collected during Dive 20 of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition using the suction sample on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer. Here, Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration ROV pilots deftly maneuvers to collect a potential new species of jellyfish during the 1200-meter (3,937-foot) dive transect.

Using remotely operated vehicles (ROV), researchers were able to map the ocean floor and observe everything from deep-sea coral to ecosystems living in unexplored areas. The Hydrographer Canyon is rich in ocean life and connects shallow waters to the deep parts of the ocean. Depths range from 1,900 feet at the shallow end up to 4,668 feet at the shelf break.

The ROV collected specimens for closer examination later on, including notes of potentially new and/or undescribed species. Among the other incredible observations made during the expedition were the viperfish, ctenophore genus Vampyroctena, and cnidaria genus Solmissus.

The discovery of the potential new species of jellyfish highlights how much we still don’t know about the deep ocean and the many species waiting to be discovered.


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