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Mysterious sea creature identified as placental jellyfish

Mysterious Sea Creature Finally Identified

For two years a mysterious sea creature has been captured on video as it swims 5,000 feet below the surface, but scientists have been in the dark as to what exactly it is. Now, the mystery is solved: it is a placental jellyfish -- after many arguments and speculations. NBC reports, "They believe it is a rarely seen jellyfish plodding its way, not at great speed, through the Gulf of Mexico. The video was actually shot by an underwater gulf rig camera."

The fish's species was, at first, hard to identify because it appeared to have no eyes, mouth, tentacles, front or back.

NPR reports scientists first believed it might be a whale placenta. They ruled that out because it would have been a large target for predators at that depth and likely would have been eaten sooner. Then Deep Sea News Chief Editor Craig McClain noticed the creature had a sex organ similar to a giant jellyfish called Deepstaria enigmatica.

Case solved? Not quite.

According to the Daily Mail, it was a small detail -- the hexagonal pattern on the creature's skin -- that gave strong evidence that this jellyfish is actually a Deepstaria reticulum, or a placental jellyfish.

The species is native to Antarctic waters, which are significantly colder than the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists don't know how or why this particular jellyfish ended up in the Gulf.

When we think of exploration, we normally think of space, but perhaps even greater mysteries lie in our oceans. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says oceans cover 70 percent of our planet's surface, yet 95 percent of it remains unexplored.

Odds are the oceans contain many other incredible mysteries to be solved and unfamiliar creatures to identify.

See more footage of the Deepstaria reticulum below:

Speaking of sea creatures, check out this friendly shark.

Join the discussion

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krafin June 20 2014 at 5:20 AM

We are aware of dark matter and dark energy making up 96% of the known universe---leaving only 4% of the Universe understood---it should be no surprise that we find our own deep oceans a mystery. The concept of aliens living among us may be solved when we understand that the aliens are intelligent beings such as whales and dolphins---living deep within the oceans and waiting for mankind to catch up and finally truly communicate with the creatures already here.

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4 replies
Vicki June 20 2014 at 11:38 AM

Science is amazing....

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LinkDeVille June 20 2014 at 9:56 AM

For real! It took them 2 years to identify what I could have done in 2 minutes??? Ya see, that's a portion of our damn tax dollars being used for frivolous foolishness. But nobody wants to call a real spade a spade.

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5 replies
Kim June 20 2014 at 11:10 AM

pretty awesome

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sdf dsf June 20 2014 at 11:09 AM

95% unexplored.... I know the megalodon is still out there...

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pofolkgal June 20 2014 at 10:41 AM

Ohh, thank God, they finally identified it! I'd been lying awake all night, each night, for four YEARS, just wondering what in the heck this creature was! Whoo, major problem, solved! NOW, I can finally get some sleep! zzzzzzzzz ;)

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2 replies
dgoffnspector pofolkgal June 20 2014 at 2:03 PM

Because "sciency stuff" is of any concern to you. Riiight...

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jelun pofolkgal June 21 2014 at 7:47 AM

And now we know what it is that they call dope.

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alfredschrader June 20 2014 at 8:08 AM

As for how a cold water species got so far from cold water, there could be a number of reasons. Ocean currents are not constant. In 1977 I was on an 85 foot cabin cruiser 10 miles out of Key Largo anchored in 174 feet of water when without explaination the entire ocean began to flow and I'm talking 20 or 30 miles an hour. For as far as the eye could see and that is at least 10 miles you could see the ocean flowing to the North. It was so strong that we couldn't create slack in our anchor line even with the engines in full reverse. A ship, plane, anything on the surface in distress would be hundreds of miles away in a few hours.

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4 replies
THE GREAT NANCINATOR June 20 2014 at 4:46 PM

Yeah. Everything is cool, mysterious and SAFE until one of us finds it.

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steves1709 June 20 2014 at 10:07 PM

"The fish's species was, at first, hard to identify..." Idiots - it is NOT a fish.

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klw4919 June 20 2014 at 10:51 AM

It is called a Prolapse.

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1 reply
Robert Moore klw4919 June 20 2014 at 10:54 PM

prolapse?.....isn't that something found in a vagina?

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1 reply
jelun Robert Moore June 21 2014 at 7:49 AM

...or your rectum.

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