A Burst of Deep Sea Fireworks: Halitrephes Jelly
We're starting this year with deep sea fireworks, and a spirit of exploration! When something remarkable floats by in the middle of sampling operations, our team quickly switches gears to marvel and document.
The frilled tentacles of the Halitrephes maasi jelly came into view at 1225m in the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico. Radial canals that move nutrients through the jelly's bell form a starburst pattern that reflects the lights of ROV Hercules with bright splashes of yellow and pink--but without our lights this gelatinous beauty drifts unseen in the dark.
Again moving offshore from the Baja California Peninsula, Nautilus will return for deeper exploration of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, consisting of the islands of Socorro, Clarion, San Benedicto, Roca Partida and numerous associated seamounts. Oceanic seamounts are critical features of the ocean basins that focus biological activity by providing hard substrates coupled with upwelling currents, are potential sites of seafloor mineralization, and pose hazards to benthic communities and human populations as a result of active volcanism.