In the deepest chasms of the Indian Ocean, a mysterious new creature’s been spotted, potentially for the first time.
Diver Victor Vescovo was on a pioneering trip to the bottom of the Java Trench — believed to be the deepest point in the Indian Ocean — as part of the Five Deeps Expedition, that’s being filmed for Discovery Channel.
In the trench’s murky depths, Vescovo and his team spotted what they think is a previously unseen species of jellyfish.
They captured footage of the creature, which the team describes as an “extraordinary gelatinous animal” which “does not resemble anything seen before.”
Alan Jamieson, the expedition’s chief scientist, spoke to CNN Travel about the incredible find.
“I normally have a pretty fair idea of what we’re going to see — but every now and again you get thrown this curveball,” says Jamieson.
“It really looks artificial — it rolls out the darkness and suddenly it turns and you’re like, ‘Jesus, that’s some kind of weird jellyfish.'”
The team gathered around the lens and kept repeating the footage, trying to work out what they’d found.
Back in his hotel room in Bali, Jamieson scrolled through the Internet looking for clues.
He came across a team of Japanese scientists who’d spotted something similar and spoke to them about the find.
“We came to a conclusion it’s called a tunicate, which is a sea squirt. This particular one is called, we think, an ascidian,” he explains.
“It doesn’t really have a common name, because we’re not quite sure what it is. But it looks like it’s a tunicate which would normally be anchored to the seafloor — using that big long tentacle, it would naturally be physically anchored. And it’s for some reason raising its body above the sea floor so it can filter food out the water.”
Jamieson concluded that the creature has adapted to…
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