OIL RIG SEA MONSTER: Experts solve two year old natural mystery

Biology experts have finally solved the mystery of an unknown giant sea ‘monster’ that was caught on video 5,000 ft (1.5 km) below a nearby oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to British tabloid paper Metro.

In the six-and-a-half minute long video, which began as an inspection of the oil rig’s moorings, a strange gelatinous object is seen falling from the top of the cameraman’s view and then floats to the right of the screen. At first appearances it appears to resemble a large lump of seaweed or a plastic carrier bag, both of course unlikely due to their floating nature in bodies of water. The formless creature then disappears into the darkness of the Gulf’s waters. After a minute, the animal reappears and takes centre stage in front of the camera, revealing its entire form as though putting on a show. It then billows out, occupying nearly all the visible area. The mysterious organism remains in frame for more than five minutes before eventually slipping out of sight.

(c) Twitter via HNGN

Marine biologists pored over the footage, shot in 2012, and also consulted historical records and scientific files in their bid to determine the species of the monster, which had some similarities to jellyfish, but has no tentacles, fins or even a head.

Biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Centre finally wrapped up the mystery by announcing that the Gulf monster was none other than a ‘placental jellyfish’, which they determined from observing the creature’s gonads in the video and the markings on its ‘sail’. The species can grow up to two feet wide and is normally found in the cooler waters of the north Atlantic, suggesting the Gulf monster may have been a stray washed into the area by strong currents.

The species is known by its Latin nameDeepstaria Reticulum” and is rarely sighted. This may also be the first time a jellyfish of this species has ever been caught on film. Also known as the “Deepstaria Enigmatica” it is “thought to be one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem,” according to the BBC. However its long, “paddle-like” arms do not have stinging tentacles like other jellyfish. The jellyfish has been seen by humans a total of 114 times since it was discovered by scientists 110 years ago, researchers told the BBC.

It belongs to the coelenterate (jellyfish) family Ulmaridae, and was first scientifically described in academic journals in 1967.  The bell of this species is thin and wide and resembles a translucent, undulating sheet or lava lamp as the animal moves. Its surface is similar in visual texture and colour to that of an onion’s skin. They are usually found in Antarctic and near-Antarctic seas but have been spotted in waters near the United Kingdom, at depths of 829 to 1830 metres.

Metro, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK
“Experts finally end two-year mystery of giant sea monster caught on camera” – Simon Farr, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (19 June 2014) http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/19/experts-finally-end-two-year-mystery-of-giant-sea-monster-caught-on-camera-4768748/
“Strange underwater sea creature caught on camera in the Gulf of Mexico (video)” – Annika Toernqvist, SFGate Science/Hearst Newspapers/Hearst Communications, Inc. (18 June 2014) http://blog.sfgate.com/science/2014/06/18/strange-underwater-sea-creature-caught-on-camera-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-video/#24361101=0
“Unknown Blob-Like Sea Creature Captured On Camera In Gulf Of Mexico (VIDEO)” –  Oulimata Ba, HNGN Headlines & Global News (18 June 2014) http://www.hngn.com/articles/34103/20140618/unknown-blob-sea-creature-filmed-underwater-camera-video.htm
“Deepstaria enigmatica” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepstaria_enigmatica
“Unknown Blob-Like Sea Creature Captured On Camera In Gulf Of Mexico (VIDEO)” –  Oulimata Ba, HNGN Headlines & Global News (18 June 2014) http://www.hngn.com/articles/34103/20140618/unknown-blob-sea-creature-filmed-underwater-camera-video.htm
“Massive Unidentified Sea Monster Caught on Video Off Oil-Rig” – Disclosure TV, YouTube GB (19 September 2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJwGpZ38JHE

7 thoughts on “OIL RIG SEA MONSTER: Experts solve two year old natural mystery

  1. infinitelyremote June 20, 2014 / 4:04 pm

    That was awesome – I had not heard about it before. Thanks for posting this news. There’s one more of Earths mysteries solved.


    • halfeatenmind June 20, 2014 / 5:52 pm

      You’re welcome, Michael.
      Next up…Loch Ness Monster, then we hit up ol’ Sasquatch! 🙂



  2. inesephoto June 20, 2014 / 9:50 pm

    It wasn’t too big after all… for me it looks like a squid rather than a jelly-fish… Interesting.


    • halfeatenmind June 21, 2014 / 4:23 pm

      Haha…you’re right, it did look rather like the fins of a squid. It was surprising for me in that there are jellyfish out there that lack tentacles…and hopefully stingers too. Ouch 😀



  3. rung2diotimasladder July 20, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    I keep telling myself I’ll try surfing one day (or maybe even just getting into the water) but then I think about things like this hidden in the sea…too damned mysterious for me.


    • halfeatenmind July 26, 2014 / 4:14 pm

      Indeed…there are even more dangerous things out there, but I suppose it depends on how much of a risk you want to take to get the thrill of seeing a world so vastly different from our own. I have always wanted to try scuba diving, but am a bit iffy about becoming a shark’s lycra-clad burrito 😀



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