Nature & Environment
Rare footage shows 'eerie' arctic jellyfish
By T.K. Randall
October 26, 2017 · 3 comments
The jellyfish were filmed during the winter. Image Credit: YouTube / Earth Institute / Columbia University
Scientists have captured footage of arctic jellyfish slithering along the bottom of the Chukchi Sea.
The recordings were made during the Arctic winter using a small robotic submarine capable of descending in to the freezing waters off the coast of Alaska.
To get the device to this location, marine biologist Andy Juhl and his colleagues from Columbia University's Earth Institute rode out using snowmobiles and drilled several holes in the ice.
Finding arctic jellyfish at such a cold time of the year came as something of a surprise because this particular species, which is known as Chrysaora melanaster
or 'northern sea nettle', was previously thought to be too fragile to survive the winter months in its adult form.
It is now thought that the colder temperatures may actually be beneficial to the jellyfish as the frozen surface helps to protect them from turbulent seas and the cold water lowers their metabolism.
"Life under sea ice is like living in a refrigerator," said Juhl. "Everything slows down."
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