The Daily Mail is posting a “new” story that is two years old. Is it a slow news day? The story is that the mysterious deep-sea “thing” caught on video from an oil rig has finally been identified as a Deepstaria jellyfish (enigmatica or reticulum, debatable), or as they call it, a “placental jellyfish”. Well, this just goes to show you how well the Daily Fail pays attention. The creature had already been identified quite quickly after the video was released back in 2012. We carried the story and got huge hits on the term “Deepstaria enigmatica”.
The “new” finding cites a post from one of my favorite sites, Deep Sea News.
I believe it’s called placental just because it sort of looks like that. Only mammals have placentas. One early speculation was that this was a free-floating whale placenta. But check out the DSN link above for the full story from the experts.
The Daily Fail is really good at causing confusion and reporting garbage which is why it’s listed on our “No Go To” list. It’s actually a public disservice to cite stories from there. NEVER cite the Daily Mail. Shame on AOL News and NBC for resurrecting the old story as well.
A fortuitous capture of a strange thing floating by a deep-sea 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?
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.