Giant Phantom Jellyfish Were Seen in Waters Near Antarctica

There was a recent sighting of giant phantom jellyfish, deep-sea creatures that look like they came from outer space. The species has long, thick ribbons streaming far from its underside, and sightings were reported by passengers on a cruise ship near the coast of Antarctica. The giant phantom jellyfish is also called Stygiomedusa gigantea, and is among the deep sea’s largest invertebrate predators.

A Giant Alien-Like Jellyfish

The giant jellyfish in question were discovered by guests while they were in a submersible deployed by a cruise line operator. According to researchers, some were longer than 16 feet, and one was stretching to at least 33 feet in length. The study author, Daniel Moore, first realized that the guests had encountered the giant phantom jellyfish when he was presented with a picture of one on a guest’s camera. According to Moore, he instantly recognized it and was flooded with excitement.

Giant phantom jellyfish inhabit every ocean except the Arctic Ocean. These cryptic creatures usually swim deep below the surface and are rarely seen by humans. The new study has now described the direct observations of three different jellyfish encountered during submersible dives next to the Antarctic Peninsula. They swam slowly and didn’t appear to show any inclination towards the lights coming from the submersible. They were seen at depths of 260, 285, and 920 feet.

Learning About Giant Phantom Jellyfish

Learning About Giant Phantom Jellyfish

Giant phantom jellyfish can be found below 3,280 feet but are sometimes encountered higher up. It’s unknown why they go to these relatively shallow waters around Antarctica. Moore stated that a potential explanation was that jellyfish swim higher up get to some ultraviolet radiation and get rid of parasites. Another hypothesis is that the deep water around the Antarctic continent just carries them upward. Moore expressed his hopes that observations of giant phantom jellyfish will lead to a better understanding of their lives.

Learning About Giant Phantom Jellyfish

The very fact that cruise lines take passengers to Antarctica has also attracted some controversy. The US Coast Guard stated on February 2nd that it has teamed up with international partners to investigate accidents involving US citizens on Antarctic passenger vessels.

According to the US Coast Guard, the Antarctic is a unique high-risk environment. It is dedicating more efforts to improve marine safety in the region and prevent future accidents. The waters around Antarctica are known to be treacherous, and the continent is rich with histories of intrepid explorers part of famous expeditions. Still, tourists are attracted by the beautiful sights, and the giant phantom jellyfish only adds to those.