Underwater vehicles recorded three giant phantom jellyfish of the species Stygiomedusa gigantea in Antarctica. Scientists estimated that the length of one of them reaches at least 10 meters and another one - 5 meters. The Live Science publication writes about it.
Giant jellyfish tend to swim at depths of more than 1,000 meters, so people usually cannot see them. These jellyfish gave been spotted at depths of only 80, 87, and 280 meters. The giant phantom jellyfish is one of the most invertebrate predators of the deep sea. It lives at depths of up to 6,500 meters and is rarely seen by humans. Giant phantom jellyfish live in all oceans except the Arctic Ocean. It feeds on plankton and small fish.
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The author of the study, published in the Polar Research journal, Daniel Moore, believes that jellyfish may rise closer to the ocean's surface to get rid of parasites that are killed by ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. Another hypothesis advanced by Moore is that the deep water rising around the Antarctic continent simply carries them upward. Moore hopes that their observations will lead to a better understanding of giant phantom jellyfish' lives.
"On every sighting the jellyfish appears to be swimming slowly, gently pulsing its bell for propulsion. They don't appear to have shown any inclination towards the lights of the submersible or reaction to our presence," the researcher said.
Phantom jellyfish were first discovered in 1910, and since then, they have only been seen 126 times, despite their enormous size and wide range.
Earlier, a rare giant jellyfish resembling a creature last seen in 1997 was filmed off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
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