American Oceans

Giant Sea Creature with 240 Tentacles Discovered

ai generated image of a jellyfish

Scientists in Japan have discovered a new species of jellyfish, named the St. George’s cross medusa jellyfish (Santjordia pagesi). This large cnidarian is unique with its vivid red cross-shaped stomach and approximately 240 tentacles. Having a circular body shape and measuring 4 inches wide by 3 inches tall, this new species is distinct from other known jellyfish.

The discovery occurred in a volcanic crater near Sumisu Caldera, close to the Ogasawara Islands. The first specimen was spotted in 2002 during a remote submarine expedition, but it wasn’t until 2020 when researchers found a second one, allowing them to confirm its status as a new species.

DNA analysis conducted on the species revealed significant genetic divergence, indicating that these jellyfish form their own new subfamily. Besides their unique stomach and numerous tentacles, researchers believe Santjordia pagesi might contain a new type of cnidarian venom owing to its considerable differences from other species.

The St. George’s cross medusa jellyfish has been observed in its natural habitat at depths between 2,700 to 2,800 feet. So far, it is considered rare and has only been found around Sumisu Caldera, some 600 miles southeast of Tokyo. Intricate body structures and stomach contribute to the fascinating appearance of these creatures. When viewed from above, their cross-shaped stomach is easily distinguished, while from other angles, the long tentacles lend a white fringe-like appearance.

The newly discovered jellyfish was named.pages centuries../?=+;’;”]/ after its distinct cross-shaped stomach (Santjorda in Catalan means Saint George) and in honor of Francesc Pagès, a notable cnidarian researcher. A video released by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology showcases its elegant swimming movements, achieved by pulsing its body and contracting the outer white ring.

This discovery marks an exciting development in marine biology, expanding our understanding of the diverse and intriguing world of deep-sea creatures. Research conducted by scientists Dhugal John Lindsay, Mary Matilda Grossmann, Javier Montenegro, and André Carrara Morandini made this breakthrough possible. Their efforts exemplify the ongoing quest to explore and document our planet’s rich and mysterious aquatic habitats.

Add comment