A beautiful jelly was just sighted by the Ocean Explorer as they cruise the deep sea near American Samoa live at oceanexplorer.noaa.gov. According to Dr. Allen Collins–a zoologist at NOAA and the Smithsonian–this little jelly is a rhopalonematid trachymedusa.
I’ve been lucky enough to see a few live trachymedusae in my lifetime. They’re among the most beautiful jellies I know, with fascinating colors and structures. Why this jelly has two types of tentacles–those facing up and those facing down–is anyone’s guess. Perhaps a way to help it capture prey? But what might that prey be? We really don’t know.
So much left to learn and discover!