Videos of rare marine life on the high seas near California

Is there anything more dreamy than a giant ghost jelly waving in the middle of a “Snowstorm” on the high seas ? Depends on personal preferences. Maybe you would be more inspired by a whale flickering in calm waters like an infrared sensor. Or a barrel fish meandering through the ink depths.

These are among the dozens of rare scenes captured by Doc Ricketts, the The robotic rover of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). In recent months, the 10,000-pound-long submersible has explored submarine canyons off central California, a gateway to the The Abyssal Plain of the Pacific Ocean and the many curiosities that flow from it.

[Related: A photo gallery of sea creature tracks]

With the rover’s powerful HD cameras and LED lights, MBARI researchers can detect and record wild animals that have hardly been seen by human eyes. Take the giant ghost jelly, for example. First described in 1910 and identified in the 1960s, the species has been documented in six of the world’s oceans. However, it has only been seen a hundred times, nine of which by MBARI. the vast majority of jelly body (which can extend up to 33 feet, or about as long as two stacked giraffes) is made up of four “mouth arms” that it uses to confront its prey and walk on water. It has no tentacles and does not appear to sting.

The whaler was another chance find made by Doc Ricketts this summer. MBARI researchers identified it as a member of the Cetomimidae family, a group of deep-water vertebrates devoid of prominent scales and fins. The creatures are not related to whale sharks, but are named after the way they hold their mouths open for food. And while they may appear neon in the light, their shocking coloring helps them slip into the darkness of the Midnight Zone. Marine biologists are still piecing together the anatomical details of the whale, but from what they know so far, it enjoys a truly unconventional sex life.

Of course, no ocean floor adventure would be complete without an animal that appears to be made of cellophane. Just this week, researchers at MBARI shared a clip of a barrel fish found over 2,000 feet deep in Monterey Bay. Unlike the whale, this animal has a functional set of peepers that to roll backwards in his head, allowing it to search for the above threats. Green lenses could also help her detect bioluminescence, even when sunlight invades her surroundings. The transparent helmet, on the other hand, is filled with fluid, which protects his organs and gives them some leeway.

Doc Ricketts is one of the two robotic rovers that MBARI owns and operates. The Oceanic Research Center also uses a benthic rover, mini rover, and several other autonomous vehicles to explore Monterey Bay. To verify his YouTube channel for more videos of his deep sea expeditions.


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