As distressed as I am by the quantity of species on the endangered list, I am equally heartened and fascinated by the bizarre and wonderful newly-discovered species constantly found in the deep ocean. Andrea Quattrini and the team of scientists in the NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer mission have just completed an exploration of the previously-uncharted deep-sea ecosystem of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
“The scientists captured the footage and streamed it online in real time using a camera attached to a remote-operated deep sea vehicle, allowing them to roam further down into the waters than if they had sent divers. “We’re able to be in contact with up to 40 scientists a day,” said co-lead scientist Andrea Quattrini.” – IFL Science
During their 12 dives, they saw 100 species of fish, 50 species of deep-water corals and hundreds of other invertebrates, many of which had never been seen in their natural habitat. They also identified a number of new species, including a stunning creature that looks like a jellyfish got it on with a lightbulb, called a ctenophore.
I never get tired of deep-sea documentaries, so today’s beautiful thing is extra beautiful to me. Oh, and when you watch the video below, please note the tiny dumbo octopus at 0:08 which looks to me exactly like the adorable little cartoon octopus from last Saturday’s student film post.