Ningaloo Canyons deep sea mission reminds us where the true nightmares live

Chris Burns - Apr 7, 2020, 1:51 pm CDT
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Ningaloo Canyons deep sea mission reminds us where the true nightmares live

What’s likely the most massive string jellyfish ever caught on video was shared today by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. This is just one of a WILD collection of living oddities the latest deep sea crews have captured on film, sharing the lot from the region called the Ningaloo Canyons. What you’re about to see will make you forget ALL about the living nightmare happening on dry land with our current global pandemic – because down here, there’s a WHOLE different nightmare going on.

This long string is one of many

This massive siphonophore Apolemia (string jellyfish) appeared this week courtesy of the Schmidt Ocean Institute in Australia. This is like that time Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C-3PO spotted what then became the largest Space Slug ever seen by human eyes. That was a science fiction movie – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The siphonophore Apolemia is the real deal. This exceedingly strange example of life is living here on Earth right this minute, in the Ningaloo Canyons.

This creature (or these creatures, rather), form together in a single long string, like a team, aiming for a single goal. “The whole thing looks like one animal, but it’s many thousands of individuals which form an entity on a higher level,” said marine biologist Stefan Siebert of Brown University. “Some move the colony, some feed for the colony, some take care of reproduction.”

The Ningaloo Canyons

The crew at the Schmidt Ocean Institute initiated a journey of the not-oft-explored deep sea areas in and around Australia. They’ve explored Bremer Bay and Perth Canyon. Their most recent expedition was to the Ningaloo Canyons.

“Dr. Nerida Wilson, of the Western Australian Museum, and her team will aim to identify and characterize the benthic biodiversity in Cape Range and Cloates Canyons and complement ROV surveys using environmental genetics (eDNA). In a country where there are little opportunities to explore the deep sea with a dedicated science ROV, this expedition will have a major impact in understanding this deep sea region.”

More Ningaloo Canyons

Take a peek at this video – it’s week 3 of an ongoing series of videos captured by the Ningaloo Canyons crew. Pay close attention to the swimming beast at around 1:30 and prepare yourself for amazement. This might be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Above you’ll see the Week 3 Highlight Reel. Below is the Week 2 Highlight Reel. Here you’ll see some creatures that look SORTA like fish, some jellyfish with bio-luminescent parts, starfish with many limbs, and transparent body parts aplenty.

The Week 1 highlights shows some crabs, some fish with many, many parts, and creatures you’d never guessed lived right here on the same planet as us. But there they are – in 1080p, for all to see.

You can also explore the extended collection of deep sea dives recorded by this crew over the past several weeks. See if you can spot any creatures not shown in the highlight reels!

Look like something you’d like to get close to and drop in on yourself? Hit up the Schmidt Ocean Institute for yourself and see how you can get in on the action!


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