Adorable Transparent Pleurobranch

Our Corps of Exploration spotted this transparent pleurobranch while exploring the deep sea coral communities of King George Seamount 870m deep during the first dive of our Ala 'Aumoana Kai Uli (NA154) expedition. Check out this deep-sea marine gastropod mollusk with its “squishy-looking” body as the team ran through our mental roster of soft, sediment-loving creatures— nudibranch, pleurobranch, sea cucumber! 

This is just one of the incredible creatures living on the volcanically-generated rocky seafloor in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM). Stay tuned as we continue to explore the largely unexplored northwestern section of the Monument to gather data urgently needed to address local management and science needs of PMNM, including a better understanding of the natural and cultural deep-sea resources, biogeographic patterns of species distributions, and seamount geologic history.

Learn more about this expedition funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.