I originally made a typo in the title, calling this a “deep-see” creature, but in fact that’s what it is! The video and info comes from IFL Science!, and shows a bizarre deep-sea species of siphonophore.
Siphonophores are in fact one form of what we normally called “jellyfish,” a group that actually comprises diverse creatures in the phylum Cnidaria. This form falls into the class Hydrozoa along with hydroids and colonial “jellyfish” like the Portuguese “Man O’ War” (Physalia physalis). Like the Man O’ War, this beast, spotted by a remote vehicle operating in the depths, is not really what we usually consider a “jellyfish,” as it’s colonial: the “individual” is really a colony of diverse and specialized individual cells (“zooids“) that have become integrated into a miniature cooperating society. Creatures like this stretch the notion of what biologists consider an “individual.”
At any rate, this siphonophore (if that’s what it is; I doubt they captured it), is certainly a species new to science. And, as I always say, the deep sea is so remote, and individuals so sparsely distributed, that there are certainly tons of bizarre species down there that we don’t know a thing about.
Look at this thing!:
And the facts from IFLS!:
Recently, a team from the Nautilus Live expedition piloting a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) happened upon one of the most fascinating-looking lifeforms in the world: a rare, purple siphonophore roving through the ocean’s depths. Even the experienced deep sea explorers, well-acquainted with the marine animals, had a hard time accepting that what they were seeing was really real.
Amazingly, although this appears to be a single jellyfish-like animal, it is in fact a roving colony made up of thousands of individual organisms, called zooids, each contributing to the whole. However, more than just its otherworldly shape, this specimen’s purple coloring is said to be rather unusual as well.
Deep Sea News writer R.R. Helm calls it a “shocking shade”, remarking that this footage truly stands out.