This fiery image was captured off the coast of Del Mar, Calif. last month by a camera aboard the remotely operated vehicle Jason, which had been deployed from Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride.
"While they look like jellyfish, they are actually colonies of specialized individuals – some sting, capture, and digest prey (the dangling tentacles in the picture), while others, like the barrel-shaped ones in the lower right, provide locomotion," wrote Melissa Miller in this post about the cruise.
Though ROV Jason is owned by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it was being used aboard Scripps's Sally Ride for a week-long science verification cruise. Such cruises are intended to exercise the ship, the crew, and scientific systems to ensure the vessel can meet operating standards and confirm its capabilities.
The siphonophore was spotted during a series of ecological surveys overseen by Scripps graduate students Natalya Gallo and Kirk Sato and Scripps alumna Amanda Netburn, who is currently doing postdoctoral research at NOAA.
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