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Thursday, 9 December 2021

Super-rare giant phantom jellyfish with bizarre MOUTH ARMS is spotted in the twilight zone off the coast of California

 Remarkable footage of a rarely seen giant deep sea jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay and officially spotted just 110 times in 110 years worldwide. 

It lives anywhere from surface level to 21,900ft, but mostly sticks to an area called the twilight zone, which is too deep for most light to reach.

In the latest sighting, the mysterious phantom jellyfish was caught on camera by a deepwater robot at a depth of 3,200ft (990 metres).  Deep sea giant: Remarkable footage of a rarely seen phantom jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

Deep sea giant: Remarkable footage of a rarely seen phantom jellyfish has been recorded by scientists off the coast of California

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay

The giant but elusive creature, which was first officially documented in 1899, has only been filmed nine times over the course of thousands of dives in Monterey Bay 

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat

WHAT IS THE GIANT PHANTOM JELLYFISH? 

Stygiomedusa gigantea is a type of giant deep sea jellyfish that is rarely seen but believed to be widespread throughout the world. 

It is thought to be one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem.

The jellyfish has an umbrella-shaped bell that can be up to a 3.3ft (1 metre) wide. 

It also has four 'paddle-like' arms up to 32ft (10m) long, which, as scientists believe may be used to trap prey because they lack stinging tentacles.

Giant Stygiomedusa have been observed and filmed off the Pacific coast of the United States by and by deepwater robots off the coast of Japan and in the Gulf of Mexico.

The reddish purple coloured creature lives anywhere from surface level to 21,900 feet, but mostly sticks to an area called the twilight zone, which is too deep for most light to reach. 

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives. 

The amazing footage was taken by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

They managed to capture the deep sea creature, which has bizarre 33ft-long 'mouth arms' and is scientifically known as Stygiomedusa gigantea, from three different perspectives.

One angle shows the species' 3.3ft-wide (1m) bell pulsing as its four long tentacles undulate beneath it, while a shot from above makes the jellyfish look more like a hat.

A wider look reveals the reddish purple coloured creature's lengthy 'mouth arms', which scientists believe are used to grab and trap prey. 

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives. 

Two sightings of it in the Gulf of Mexico suggest the species might hunt by clinging to subsea structures, so its arms are freed up to trap food, but that sort of behaviour has never been directly witnessed.

'Even now, scientists still know very little about this animal,' the research institute said. 

'The challenges of accessing its deep-water habitat contribute to the relative scarcity of sightings for such a large and broadly distributed species.'

According to the scientists, giant phantom jellyfish appear to be in all oceans except for the Arctic.

Before underwater robots were invented, experts used trawling nets to study deep sea creatures such as Stygiomedusa gigantea.

However, when one is captured and brought to the surface, MBARI researchers said its silky-looking frame turns to 'gelatinous goo'.

That makes underwater robots the best way to observe the species and learn more about how it survives.

However, in 34 years of carrying out deep sea studies, MBARI has sent out thousands of remotely operated vehicles and observed the giant phantom jellyfish just nine times.

According to the scientists, giant phantom jellyfish appear to be in all oceans except for the Arctic

According to the scientists, giant phantom jellyfish appear to be in all oceans except for the Arctic

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives

It is assumed they feed on plankton and small fishes, but very little is known about how the jellyfish survives

A wider look reveals the reddish purple coloured creature's lengthy 'mouth arms', which scientists believe are used to grab and trap prey

A wider look reveals the reddish purple coloured creature's lengthy 'mouth arms', which scientists believe are used to grab and trap prey

It is thought to be one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem.

Previous footage captured in 2004 also showed a fish swimming inside and in close proximity to the bell of the jellyfish. 

It was even caught on camera resting its belly on the jellyfish.

The fish was believed to be Thalassobathia pelagica, a rare species itself that has a symbiotic relationship with the jellyfish.

By swimming within the jellyfish it is able to feed on scraps of food and have a certain level of protection in an otherwise shelterless abyss.

The research institute published the video on its website. 

DEEP-SEA DEBRIS DATABASE REVEALS EXTENT OF OCEAN PLASTIC POLLUTION

Plastic pollution is a scourge that is ravaging the surface of our planet. Now, the polluting polymer is sinking down to the bottom of the ocean. 

The deepest part of the ocean is found in the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. It stretches down nearly 36,100 feet (11,000 metres) below the surface.

One plastic bag was found 35,754 feet (10,898 metres) below the surface in this region, the deepest known piece of human-made pollution in the world. This single-use piece of plastic was found deeper than 33 Eiffel towers, laid tip to base, would reach.

Whilst the plastic pollution is rapidly sinking, it is also spreading further into the middle of the oceans. A piece of plastic was found over 620 miles (1,000 km) from the nearest coast - that's further than the length of France.

The Global Oceanographic Data Center (Godac) of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (Jamstec) launched for public use in March 2017. 

In this database, there is the data from 5,010 different dives. From all of these different dives, 3,425 man-made debris items were counted. 

More than 33 per cent of the debris was macro-plastic followed by metal (26 per cent), rubber (1.8 per cent), fishing gear (1.7 per cent), glass (1.4 per cent), cloth/paper/lumber (1.3 per cent), and 'other' anthropogenic items (35 per cent).

It was also discovered that of all the waste found, 89 per cent of it was designed for single-use purposes. This is defined as plastic bags, bottles and packages. The deeper the study looked, the greater the amount of plastic they found. 

Of all man-made items found deeper than 20,000 feet (6,000 metres), the ratios increased to 52 per cent for macro-plastic and 92 per cent for single-use plastic.

The direct damage this caused to the ecosystem and environment is clear to see as deep-sea organisms were observed in the 17 per cent of plastic debris images taken by the study.

Copper 'slave badge' used to identify enslaved people in Charleston who were hired out to temporary owners in 1835, Egypt's Golden City and oldest human footprints in North America are among world’s top ten archaeological discoveries for 2021

 A small slave badge engraved with the year ‘1853’ that was discovered in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year is one of Archaeology Magazine’s top 10 discoveries in 2021.

The square, copper item served as a permit, allowing the servant to work in the city and away from their owner who paid anywhere from $10 to $35 for the tag.

The badge made Archaeology Magazine’s list because Charleston was the only US location to provide the working permit, making the artifact a very rare discovery.

The list also includes the discovery of Egypt’s 3,500-year-old Golden City that is deemed the most significant find since King Tutankhamun and footprints found in New Mexico made by the earliest humans to trek across America 23,000 years ago.

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A small slave badge engraved with the year ‘1853’ that was discovered in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year is one of Archaeology Magazine ’s top 10 discoveries in 2021. The square, copper item served as a permit, allowing the servant to work in the city and away from their owner who paid anywhere from $10 to $35 for the tag

A small slave badge engraved with the year ‘1853’ that was discovered in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year is one of Archaeology Magazine ’s top 10 discoveries in 2021. The square, copper item served as a permit, allowing the servant to work in the city and away from their owner who paid anywhere from $10 to $35 for the tag

Archaeology Magazine has been published for more than 70 years by the Archaeological Institute of America and the top 10 list will appear in the magazine’s January/February 2022 issue, which is set to hit newsstands this week.

Marley Brown, associate editor of Archaeology Magazine, said in a statement: ‘We felt the tag had to be included because it’s a reminder of an individual who may otherwise have been lost to time and to the dehumanizing system of enslavement

‘What’s more, the fact that the College of Charleston team recovered the object from its archaeological context provides a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the person who may once have worn it — a real gift considering many of these tags have no provenance.’

The tag was found at the College of Charleston, which suggests the servant lost their permit while working to build that was constructed in 1785.

This year has produced several amazing discoveries, with Egypt’s Golden City making Archaeology Magazine’s list for being the largest ancient city to be uncovered in Luxor. Announced on April 8, excavations uncovered bakeries, workshops and burials of animals and humans, along with jewelry, pots and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III. The city sits between Rameses III's temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III's temple at Memnon

This year has produced several amazing discoveries, with Egypt’s Golden City making Archaeology Magazine’s list for being the largest ancient city to be uncovered in Luxor. Announced on April 8, excavations uncovered bakeries, workshops and burials of animals and humans, along with jewelry, pots and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III. The city sits between Rameses III's temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III's temple at Memnon

The team initially set out to discover Tutankhamun's Mortuary Temple, where the young king was mummified and received status rites, but they stumbled upon something far greater. Pictured is an amulet found at the site and was placed on a burial within the ancient city's limits

The team initially set out to discover Tutankhamun's Mortuary Temple, where the young king was mummified and received status rites, but they stumbled upon something far greater. Pictured is an amulet found at the site and was placed on a burial within the ancient city's limits

This is the oldest higher education institution south of Virginia and the 13th oldest in the US.

Slave tags started in the 18th century and were used up until 1865.

They were typically stamped with a date, occupation (fisher, servant, porter, etc.) and registration number.

It was used as proof that the enslaved person’s owner had approved this person to work for someone else and outside of the owner's location.

The tag was discovered at an excavation site at 63½ Coming St, where a solar pavilion was set to be built.

Because the school received federal dollars from the US Department of Energy through the South Carolina Department of Energy to complete the project, an investigation into the area had to be completed.

The digging began in February, and in March, the slave badge surfaced and was officially announced in June.Another top discovery is the ancient human footprints found in New Mexico in September,. The 23,000-year-old prints were discovered by British and American archaeologists working at Alkali Flat, a dry lakebed at White Sands National Park. The prints - which are flat, a possible sign the people were barefoot - reveal more than just a date, the researchers say. They offer a glimpse into what life was like during the Upper Paleolithic Era, which started about 40,000 years ago

Another top discovery is the ancient human footprints found in New Mexico in September,. The 23,000-year-old prints were discovered by British and American archaeologists working at Alkali Flat, a dry lakebed at White Sands National Park. The prints - which are flat, a possible sign the people were barefoot - reveal more than just a date, the researchers say. They offer a glimpse into what life was like during the Upper Paleolithic Era, which started about 40,000 years ago

Most of the prints at the White Sands site belonged to teens and children, with a few from adults. Researchers say this indicates 'activity of play, and of different ages coming together'
In addition to evidence of hunting, researchers say the footprints indicate 'activity of play, and of different ages coming together.' Pictured: One of the oldest tracks at the site

Most of the prints at the White Sands site belonged to teens and children, with a few from adults. Researchers say this indicates 'activity of play, and of different ages coming together'

Jim Newhard, a classics professor, landscape architect and director of the college’s Center for Historical Landscapes, said in a statement: ‘You felt the evil.

‘It redoubled in my mind that not only was this artifact an expression of enslavement, so were the other objects we were recovering.’

This year has produced several amazing discoveries, with Egypt’s Golden City making Archaeology Magazine’s list for being the largest ancient city to be uncovered in Luxor.

Announced on April 8, excavations uncovered bakeries, workshops and burials of animals and humans, along with jewelry, pots and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III.

Other amazing discoveries for this year include the world's oldest artwork found in September in Tibet, earliest leatherwork that was uncovered in Morocco and a Bronze Age map unearthed in France, along with a life-size camel carving that is t he oldest animal artwork in history- (pictured). The carving, found in Saudi Arabia, is thought to be 8,000 years old, making almost twice the age of Britain's Stonehenge

Other amazing discoveries for this year include the world's oldest artwork found in September in Tibet, earliest leatherwork that was uncovered in Morocco and a Bronze Age map unearthed in France, along with a life-size camel carving that is t he oldest animal artwork in history- (pictured). The carving, found in Saudi Arabia, is thought to be 8,000 years old, making almost twice the age of Britain's Stonehenge

The world's oldest artworks is a sequence of five hand and footprints that are thought to date back some 226,000 years. The impressions, first discovered on a rocky outcrop in Quesang back in 2018, are at least three to four times older than the cave paintings of France, Indonesia and Spain

The world's oldest artworks is a sequence of five hand and footprints that are thought to date back some 226,000 years. The impressions, first discovered on a rocky outcrop in Quesang back in 2018, are at least three to four times older than the cave paintings of France, Indonesia and Spain

The team initially set out to discover Tutankhamun's Mortuary Temple, where the young king was mummified and received status rites, but they stumbled upon something far greater.

Betsy Brian, Professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, said 'The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun'.

The leather working tools, excavated from Contrebandiers Cave near the Atlantic coast of Morocco, are made of animal bones and were fashioned into shapes that look like human hands

The leather working tools, excavated from Contrebandiers Cave near the Atlantic coast of Morocco, are made of animal bones and were fashioned into shapes that look like human hands

'The discovery of the Lost City, not only will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at his wealthiest but will help us shed light on one of history's greatest mystery: why did Akhenaten & Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna.'

The city sits between Rameses III's temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III's temple at Memnon.

Excavations began September 2020 and within weeks, archaeologists uncovered formations made of mud bricks.

Another top discovery is the ancient human footprints found in New Mexico in September,.

The 23,000-year-old prints were discovered by British and American archaeologists working at Alkali Flat, a dry lakebed at White Sands National Park.

The prints - which are flat, a possible sign the people were barefoot - reveal more than just a date, the researchers say. They offer a glimpse into what life was like during the Upper Paleolithic Era, which started about 40,000 years ago. 

Most were left by teens and younger children, with occasional tracks from adults, as well as some from mammoths, giant ground sloths, and dire wolves. 

Other amazing discoveries for this year include the world's oldest artwork found in September in Tibet, earliest leatherwork that was uncovered in Morocco and a Bronze Age map unearthed in France, along with a life-size camel carving that is t he oldest animal artwork in history.

Archaeology magazine also lists the Newfoundland settlement that shows Vikings set foot in the New World 1,000 years ago, beating Christopher Columbus by 471 years.

Also included is a rare boundary marker in Italy and a mass crusader grave found in Lebanon.

The world's oldest artworks is a sequence of five hand and footprints that are thought to date back some 226,000 years. 

The Bronze Age map discovery is a massive stone that was uncovered in France in April is thought to be Europe's oldest map. A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France

The Bronze Age map discovery is a massive stone that was uncovered in France in April is thought to be Europe's oldest map. A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France

Then there is another ancient rock that made the list - a stone that once outlined the city limits of ancient Rome, dating from the age of Emperor Claudius in AD 49. The pomerium is thought to have dated back to the time of Rome's founding – more than 2,700 years ago

Then there is another ancient rock that made the list - a stone that once outlined the city limits of ancient Rome, dating from the age of Emperor Claudius in AD 49. The pomerium is thought to have dated back to the time of Rome's founding – more than 2,700 years ago

The impressions, first discovered on a rocky outcrop in Quesang back in 2018, are at least three to four times older than the cave paintings of France, Indonesia and Spain. 

The leather working tools, excavated from Contrebandiers Cave near the Atlantic coast of Morocco, are made of animal bones and were fashioned into shapes that look like human hands.

Archaeologists say the tools were made from animal rib bones that date back between 120,000 and 90,000 years ago.   

The Bronze Age map  discovery is a massive stone that was uncovered in France in April is thought to be Europe's oldest map.

And the most gruesome discovery to make the list is a two mass graves containing 25 Crusaders who were slaughtered during a 13th-century war in the Holy Land have been unearthed in Lebanon

And the most gruesome discovery to make the list is a two mass graves containing 25 Crusaders who were slaughtered during a 13th-century war in the Holy Land have been unearthed in Lebanon

Wounds on the remains suggests the soldiers died at the end of swords, maces and arrows, and charring on some bones means they were burned after being dropped into the pit

Wounds on the remains suggests the soldiers died at the end of swords, maces and arrows, and charring on some bones means they were burned after being dropped into the pit

A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France.

The slab, dubbed Saint-Bélec Slab, includes elements the team says they would expect in a prehistoric map - including 'repeated motifs joined by lines to give the layout of a map.

Then there is another ancient rock that made the list - a stone that once outlined the city limits of ancient Rome, dating from the age of Emperor Claudius in AD 49.

And the most gruesome discovery to make the list is a two mass graves containing 25 Crusaders who were slaughtered during a 13th-century war in the Holy Land have been unearthed in Lebanon.

Wounds on the remains suggests the soldiers died at the end of swords, maces and arrows, and charring on some bones means they were burned after being dropped into the pit.