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Beautiful New Species of Jellyfish Photographed 2,300 Feet Under the Sea

Beautiful New Species of Jellyfish Photographed 2,300 Feet Under the Sea

Beautiful New Species of Jellyfish Photographed 2,300 Feet Under the Sea 1

As part of a 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition, what is called a potentially “unknown” or “undescribed” red jellyfish in the genus Poralia was captured on camera. The disk-shaped red jellyfish was found floating nearly 2,300 feet below the surface.

An “undescribed” species is the term scientists use to classify a creature that has never received a specific name in a formal scientific publication and is, therefore, previously unknown to scientists.

Quinn Girasek, an intern and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholar with the NOAA Ocean Exploration organization describes the find as part of her role annotating the water column dive that took place in late July.

“As a Hollings intern, I am conducting research to further our understanding of previously unexplored ocean habitats,” she explains. “My project this summer focuses on the abundance of organisms within the mesopelagic, or twilight zone (200 to 1,000 meters/ 656 to 3,281 feet depth) in the Atlantic Ocean around the Gulf Stream and within the deep scattering layer.”

The red jellyfish is one of the species that Girasek cataloged as part of her research. This beautiful red creature in the genus Poralia is described as one that may be a previously unknown species and was seen during the third transect of Dive 20 of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition, at a depth of 700 meters (2,297 feet).

“Overall, a variety of animals were seen, like ctenophores, cnidarians, crustaceans, and Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes). We also saw several undescribed families and potential new species,” she continues.

In the image below, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer is shown collecting the potentially new species of jellyfish, which also gives a sense of scale to the creature. For reference, the ROV is 10 feet long, 6.5 feet wide, and 8.5 feet tall.

Beautiful New Species of Jellyfish Photographed 2,300 Feet Under the Sea 2
A total of four samples were collected during Dive 20 of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition using the suction sample on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer. Here, Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration ROV pilots deftly maneuver to collect a potential new species of jellyfish during the 1200-meter (3,937-foot) dive transect.

Deep Discoverer is capable of diving to a depth of 3.7 miles (6,000 meters) and can capture high-definition video and uses a set of 20 LED lights to fire 150,000 lumens of light into the darkness of the ocean’s depths.

The final dive of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition was dedicated to the exploration of the water column within Hydrographer Canyon through two series of transects. The first series involved transects at depths of 300, 500, 700, and 900 meters (984, 1,640, 2,297, and 2,953 feet) and the second series started with a transect within the bathypelagic or midnight zone of the ocean at 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) depth and was followed by a transect at a depth of 630 meters (2,067 feet), within the area’s “deep scattering layer” (DSL). The DSL is a region in the water column where there is such a high density of marine organisms that they generate their own sonar signal.

The “deep scattering layer” is a term used by those using active acoustics in the open ocean as a phenomenon that occurs between about 400 and 600 meters (1,312 to 1,969 feet) depth in our geographic region of study. As described by NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Scholar Herbert Leavitt, typically this layer is seen when the sound waves come into contact with a high density of mesopelagic fish or other organisms that live at depth during the day and migrate towards the surface at night to feed.

Many other creatures were observed during the expedition, and while the red jellyfish is the only one that is called out as “undescribed” or undiscovered, there are a host of others that can be seen in detail in images and video from the NOAA.

Image and video credits: Video and images courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts.

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Epic Bear Fight Goes Down Feet Away from Camera Crew

Epic Bear Fight Goes Down Feet Away from Camera Crew

A wildlife camera crew was in a bear blind (AKA hide) in Finland earlier this month when a pair of large bears showed up on the scene and decided to have a big, violent brawl just feet away from the hidden onlookers and cameras.

Samuli Kiiveri, Olli Pietilä, and Tuomas Manninen of the YouTube channel Samulin Matkassa were visiting the Boreal Wildlife Center in Kuhmo, Finland, on July 1st and camping out in a wooden shed-style blind operated by the center.

“After 45 minutes the bears started to appear, a total of four bears arrived within the 5 hours we were there,” the crew tells PetaPixel. “We would have been happy to have seen a glimpse of a single bear, but oh boy did our expectations get exceeded massively.”

Shortly after arriving on the scene, two of the large bears decided they didn’t like each other.

Epic Bear Fight Goes Down Feet Away from Camera Crew 3
How close the two bears were to the camera crew in the bear blind.

“Two of the bears were pretty much the same size and they started to roar very loudly to each other and moments later they engaged in a fierce brawl,” the crew says. “According to experts, they wouldn’t fight so brutally over food only. It is about the dominance of the area, because females prefer stronger males.”

Locals later told the crew that there had only been a single report of a bear fight of this magnitude in the wildlife area over the past decade and a half. Luckily for Samulin Matkassa, they were able to capture the rare sight with multiple cameras and from super close range.

“The whole scene, starting with the extremely loud roars followed up by a big fight, was an experience that left the whole film crew speechless and even confused for a while,” Samulin Matkassa says. “Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

There’s also a longer 27-minute video of the group’s time in the blind. You can also follow along with their nature, wildlife, and fishing videos by subscribing to their YouTube channel.

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This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor

This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor

This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor 4

Flying drones have become extremely commonplace but also suffer from growing restrictions on their use. It’s hard to argue against their novelty, but safety continues to be a concern. So where do drones go next? What about underwater?

Underwater robotics company Geneinno recently announced its second underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV), the T1 Pro. Designed for more industrial uses, it does have several intriguing features that could appeal to photographers and videographers alike. For starters, it can dive as deep as 574 feet underwater and illuminate its surroundings thanks to a pair of 3000 lumens forward-mounted LED beams.

This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor 7
Optional lateral thruster.

It sports a total of six motorized rotors for maximum maneuverability underwater (and can be outfitted with an additional, optional lateral thruster), and unlike flying drones has a very impressive battery life: four hours via the built-in battery and eight total hours with the addition of an external battery. Each battery can fully charge in three hours. It has a pretty impressive peak speed of 6.8 feet per second (2 meters per second).

Though clearly not a photo-centric drone, what the T1 Pro does come equipped with isn’t bad. It features a 12 megapixel 1/2.3″ Sony CMOS sensor with an f/2.5 aperture and a fixed shutter speed of 1/30 second. It can shoot in JPEG, DNG RAW, or both simultaneously to an internal 128 GB memory card (the technical specifications and information PetaPixel was provided did not specify exactly how storage is handled). That sensor can also capture 4K video up to 30 frames per second and 1080p video up to 60 frames per second.

The drone can also live stream up to 1080p resolution.

This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor 10

The below video shows the original T1, the company’s first-generation underwater ROV that can reach a shallower, yet still impressive, 492 foot depth:

Underwater photography is always popular with travelers, especially in tropical locations. It’s why one of Olympus’ best-selling product lines is its rugged Tough TG-6 underwater camera. But you can only do so much with hand-held camera equipment, and the ability to do some serious underwater exploration and documentation would not be an option without something like the T1 Pro.

Because of the tricky nature of radio waves and water, the T1 Pro does use a long tether to keep itself connected to your mobile device and controller. There are methods that have been developed to communicate wirelessly underwater, but nothing to the degree that would be able to handle the high resolution live streaming the T1 provides… yet.

The T1 can be outfitted with various additional optional add-ons that make it more suited for industrial applications like an omin-scan sonar, water quality detector, a second external camera that can be mounted below the T1 Pro to assess seabed conditions, a robotic arm attachment, and a laser scaler that can measure objects that divers can’t explore safely. While these add-ons are much more practical than creative, they show that there is much that is possible in the world of underwater drone and ROV development.

This Drone Dives Up to 574 Feet Underwater, Features Sony Sensor 13

The T1 Pro is likely out of reach for most general consumers given its $3,000 price and limited photo/video capture capabilities, but what it can do does make you wonder what the next big leap for drones and robotics in photography will be. Looking at the company’s online store, they already came close. While more video-focused, the sold-out Poseidon I underwater drone is very nearly what has been described. The Poseidon even gets around the wired issue a bit by attaching the necessary cable to a floating buoy that will allow for wireless communication with the controller.

Considering the explosion of beautiful aerial images that have flooded the market since the widespread availability of drones, imagine what creators will discover under the sea, the largest unexplored landscape on Earth. If a company developed a drone like the T1 Pro but with more expansive features of an Olympus TG-6, that would be a product creative professionals might get behind.

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Sigma Sent Two Cameras Into ‘Space’ to Capture Earth from 100,000 Feet

Sigma Sent Two Cameras Into 'Space' to Capture Earth from 100,000 Feet

Sigma UK recently teamed up with the company Sent Into Space to… well… send a couple of their cameras to space. The group tied a pair of Sigma fp’s to two weather balloons and sent them each to an altitude of ~100,000 feet so they could capture some stunning photos and 4K RAW video of Earth from the upper atmosphere.

The little marketing stunt is, of course, meant to highlight the gear onboard. The Sigma fp, the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, and the 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens, the “brightest and best 14mm lens on the market.”

But it’s also about doing something that, to the best of our knowledge, hasn’t been done to this level of quality ever before. We’ve seen plenty of footage and photos captured by GoPros and other smaller cameras tied to weather balloons, but Sigma says this is “the first time a full-frame camera has captured stills and video from the upper atmosphere and we think this is the best quality video footage ever taken from this viewpoint.”

We’ll let you be the judge of that last claim.

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The team’s reaction when they plugged in the hard drives and found their footage and stills intact.
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A low-res version of one still photo captured by the Sigma fp from ~100,000ft

Whether or not this is a true “first” is really irrelevant. After all, astronauts on the ISS have been taking stunning high-resolution photos from about 1.34-million feet for many years now. But it’s still cool to see what the latest and greatest camera tech can capture when you put it near the edge of space… and click record.

To watch the full experiment, hear all about how they ensured these cameras would continue working in “near-space,” and see the final photos and footage that they were able to capture, check out the full video up top.

(via DIY Photography)

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