A team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were on a cruise to discover the next big thing — and the big thing they did, as they found a rather very beautiful being under the sea.
“It’s unique because we were able to describe a new species based entirely on high-definition video,” NOAA Fisheries scientist Allen Collins said in a statement on November 20, on a new species of comb jelly they discovered.
The translucent animal is a ctenophore, which is popularly known as a comb jelly. Compared to the jellyfish, comb jellies are ethereal, gelatinous and carnivorous from the bottom of the waters.
The NOAA team named it Duobrachium sparksae. The species dwells off the coast of Puerto Rico and was first spotted by NOAA’s Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle in 2015, and the organization just released the stunning video of the species floating above the seafloor.
Upon seeing the footage in 2015, the scientists knew the creature was different. They have since then did the legwork, and has now declared it as a new species, which they discussed in their published paper in the journal Plankton and Benthos Research.
The researchers used a laser system to measure it, which showed it was about 2.3 inches (6 centimeters) tall, not couting its long dangly tentacles.
“It was a beautiful and unique organism,” said Mike Ford, a NOAA Fisheries scientist and lead author of the study.
According to NET.com, the scientists have found three individuals, but they require to do more research and collect an actual sample of the comb jellies to understand the species some more.
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