Huge Jellyfish Is Extremely Rare, Nightmare Fuel

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Huge Jellyfish Is Extremely Rare, Nightmare Fuel
This is fine.

This post could go a few ways. I could start by saying, wow, the ocean is incredible. Or perhaps I could start by saying I hope you didn’t plan to sleep tonight. That’s because the giant phantom jelly captured by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is a bit of a Rorschach test, one that can inspire awe and terror because, well, I mean look at it.


We can start out with points in favor of the giant phantom jellyfish being a cool-ass jelly. The giant phantom jelly has been seen in the wild about 100 times since it was first discovered by humans in 1899. This is the ninth encounter MBARI researchers have had with it despite doing thousands of dives using a remote-operated vehicle.

That’s an impressive track record of stealth given that it lives in every ocean basin save the Arctic. Of course, this is also cause for terror. For all I know, this jellyfish may drag me off into the deep next time I visit Coney Island.

Wait, sorry I’m getting away from myself. Cool facts, cool facts, cool facts. Right. OK. So this jellyfish also lives in what’s known as the “midnight zone,” a location in the water column that’s not quite the twilight zone or the abyss. That’s a sweet spot between 3,300 and 13,000 feet (1,000 to 4,000 meters) below the surface. No sunlight reaches this depth of the ocean, which is frankly terrifying to think of in the context of a ghostly jellyfish at a depth of the ocean where nobody could hear you scream as you dragged into the murky depths.