Bizarre cascade creature undersea video (Update: Confirmed jellyfish)

A fortuitous capture of a strange thing floating by a deep sea camera…

Easily the most insane animal footage ever caught on an undersea camera.

A remotely operated underwater vehicle caught this creature floating around in the brine — commenters on YouTube are positing that it’s a specimen of the Deepstaria enigmatica jellyfish, whereas other folks on Reddit are suggesting it’s errant whale placenta. Any marine biologists care to chime in?

Credit: @djvexd1 and @bayanimills on Twitter (THANKS!)

Amazing, stuff! Just incredible to watch.

What is it? It is a Deepstaria enigmatica:

Deepstaria enigmatica, is a jellyfish of the family Ulmaridae first described in 1967 by F.S. Russel. The bell of this jellyfish is very thin and wide (up to approx. 60 cm), and resembles a translucent, folding sheet or “lava lamp” as the animal moves.

The Marine species identification portal notes:

[…] most specimens reported colorless but deep brown exumbrella and stomach lining a paler brown recorded once; more observations needed before value of this as species character can be evaluated.

The source of the identification was this reddit thread.  You can clearly see the polygonal cell-like texture in the bell. The video, called “cascade creature” was added April 27 to YouTube.

Well, I think we just got a valuable observation. It has been suggested that this one is dead but the remarkable camerawork was detailed enough to allow the identification of the creature and will likely reveal some new information about it. Fascinating!



UPDATE (12-May-2012): Confirmed by several scientists that it is indeed Deepstaria enigmatica. Good job on the reddit poster who got this first!

  10 comments for “Bizarre cascade creature undersea video (Update: Confirmed jellyfish)

  1. May 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    This is insane in the membrane!

  2. May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Very cool.

  3. Massachusetts
    May 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    The regular geometric patterns were particularly unusual. I wonder what they are exactly? If the cryptozoologists produced video of this quality and duration, I would be much more sympathetic to their claims. What ever this is, it’s definitely a real biological specimen. It’s really amazing footage. And quite mesmerizing to watch as it undulates and morphs.

  4. Fastmover01
    May 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I love watching videos from deepsea explorations. Many of the animals there are more “alien” than Hollywood could ever come up with.

  5. May 10, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    This is absolutely amazing! It truly amazes me to know that we are yet to come across A HUGE MAJORITY of other unidentified animals, species of other animals etc etc in the deepest of our oceans. This really is as “alien” as we can possibly get for now. So beautiful and so, very fascinating…wow! I can not wait until we discover other fascinating life forms ON OUR OWN PLANET!

  6. PaulVRuggeri
    May 10, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    It’s bizarre, revolting, hideous, unnatural and primitive; and oh SOOOO beautiful at the same time… mesmerizing, hypnotic… a rolling, undulating, unfolding metaphor for evolution itself, and it’s not “Poseidon’s condom” or a whale placenta… I LOVE stuff like this!

  7. Vin
    May 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Just goes to show that most Cryptozoologists suffer from a SERIOUS failure of imagination…..REAL life takes on forms FAR stranger than our little horizon-to-horizon ape brain can comprehend….I’d LOVE to think that this is the kinda stuff we’d find in Europa or Enceladus. If Humanity ever makes it to the stars, I think we will be astounded by the similarities of the life we may find to our native Earth life and Evolution’s habit of repeating basic designs.

  8. Vin
    May 11, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    I also find it sad and confusing that some people find it primitive and revolting…..this species has been evolving and inhabiting our oceans FAR longer than Mammals have been walking on this Earth….it WAS here FIRST and WE are the primitive, scary, revolting and ugly ones.

  9. Peebs
    May 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    If it’s been evolving far longer than we primitive apes it doesn’t seem to have made a very good job of it.

  10. apexdisorder
    April 4, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Evolution is not goal oriented.

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