For scientists exploring the deepest areas of Earth's oceans, surprises hide at almost every corner. Rummaging on the ocean floor is difficult, and much of the wildlife that makes these deep waters native remains unknown. Expeditions such as those conducted by the Nautilus group regularly observe creatures that have never been documented before, and earlier this month they found a jellyfish that seemed to defy the laws of physics.
It was believed to be a member of the Deepstaria jelly family, the creature looked relatively normal at first, with a soft, pink body and organs at the top of the bell, but things became strange in a hurry.
In response to the water currents generated by the remote-controlled vehicle, the flexible body of the jelly quickly expanded to a multiple of its original size, twisting and expanding like a plastic bag. The ability to expand and then contract allows the jellyfish to feed on everything they hold in their own bodies.
In the bell, you will notice a glowing red object, which is actually a completely separate creature. It is an Isopod who has decided to find a home in the jelly. This is regularly observed among members of the Deepstaria family, although scientists still do not know if the relationship between the two animals is symbiotic or isopod acts as a parasite.
The Nautilus team regularly broadcasts their adventures live via the appropriately titled Nautilus live web portal. The streams are always entertaining and it's incredibly fun to hear the researchers react to their discoveries, especially when they stumble upon such an unusual animal.