Science Buzz

Deep-sea jellyfish looks like a flying saucer

Rhopalonematid trachymedusa jellyfish

Marine biologists working on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer spotted this beautiful deep-sea jellyfish at Utu Seamount in the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Looking like a flying saucer with tentacles, rhopalonematid trachymedusa is primarily found in the deep ocean, and is identifiable by its umbrella-like appearance. The translucent creature’s reproductive organs can be seen in bright yellow, and its digestive system appears in red. The creature’s two unique set of tentacles — one facing up and one facing down — likely help it to catch prey.