December 11, 2009--
In the black depths of the frigid Arctic Ocean, scientists on a 2005 expedition found a splash of color: The brilliant, blood-red Crossota norvegica
The creature was spotted by a remotely operated vehicle 8,530 feet (2,600 meters) underwater during a two-month National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition to the Canada Basin, the deepest and least explored part of the Arctic waters.
Though C. norvegica
is not a new species, several new deep-sea animals were discovered during the expedition--some of which were announced in recent research papers in 2009.
Biologist and team member Kevin Raskoff
, of Monterey Peninsula College in California, was surprised at the diversity of jellyfish living in the extreme polar seas.
"We knew there were going to be interesting jellies up there," Raskoff said by email, "but the reality surpassed all of our imaginations!"
Photograph by Kevin Raskoff