Super-rare giant phantom jellyfish with bizarre mouth arms is spotted off the ...

Super-rare giant phantom jellyfish with bizarre mouth arms is spotted off the ...
Super-rare giant phantom jellyfish with bizarre mouth arms is spotted off the ...

Remarkable footage of a rarely seen giant deep sea jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay and officially spotted just 110 times in 110 years worldwide. 

It lives anywhere from surface level to 21,900ft, but mostly sticks to an area called the twilight zone, which is too deep for most light to reach.

In the latest sighting, the mysterious phantom jellyfish was caught on camera by a deepwater robot at a depth of 3,200ft (990 metres).  

Deep sea giant: Remarkable footage of a rarely seen phantom jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

Deep sea giant: Remarkable footage of a rarely seen phantom jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay 

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat

WHAT IS THE GIANT PHANTOM JELLYFISH? 

Stygiomedusa gigantea is a type of giant deep sea jellyfish that is rarely seen but believed to be widespread throughout the world. 

It is thought to be one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem.

The jellyfish has an umbrella-shaped bell that can be up to a 3.3ft (1 metre) wide. 

It also has four 'paddle-like' arms up to 32ft (10m) long, which, as scientists believe may be used to trap prey because they lack stinging tentacles.

Giant Stygiomedusa have been observed and filmed off the Pacific coast of the United States by and by deepwater robots off the coast of Japan and in the Gulf of Mexico.

The reddish purple coloured creature lives anywhere from surface level to 21,900 feet, but mostly sticks to an area called the twilight zone, which is too deep for most light to reach. 

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives. 

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The amazing footage was taken by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

They managed to capture the deep sea creature, which has bizarre 33ft-long 'mouth arms' and is scientifically known as Stygiomedusa gigantea, from three different perspectives.

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat.

A wider look reveals the reddish purple coloured creature's lengthy 'mouth arms', which scientists believe are used to grab and trap prey. 

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives. 

Two sightings of it in the Gulf of Mexico suggest the species might hunt by clinging to subsea structures, so its arms are freed up to trap food, but that sort of behaviour has never been directly witnessed.

'Even now, scientists still know very little about this animal,' the research institute said. 

'The challenges of accessing its deep-water habitat contribute to the relative scarcity of sightings for such a

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