This Deep Sea Jellyfish Looks Just Like a Firework

Whilst we were all watching fireworks fly into the sky this New Year’s Eve, the team at Nautilus Live had their own private display, deep beneath the ocean’s surface. No, we’re not talking about underwater fireworks, but the weird and wonderful Halitrephes maasi jellyfish.

As seen in this short video, the colourful creature is stumbled upon during a routine “crab chasing” sampling mission by the Nautilus Live team.

Nautilus Live is a 24/7 YouTube livestream in association with the Ocean Exploration Trust, dedicated to “exploring unknown regions” of our oceans, in search of “new discoveries in biology, geology, and archaeology.”

At a depth of 1225m in the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules skulks gently along the ocean floor in search of crabs.

Off in the distance, a neon glowing orb sits motionless in the deep. Approaching the jelly, the ROV Hercules’ lights reflect from the “radial canals” that transfer “nutrients through the jelly’s bell”, creating a unique starburst pattern that looks strikingly similar to an exploding firework.

Without the reflection from the lights, the Halitrephes jellyfish would wander totally concealed in the dark, as a simple “gelatinous beauty”.

For more deep sea exploration, be sure to visit Nautilus Live’s website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

If you’re feeling inspired for your own (salty) slice of underwater visual delights, check out our helpful introduction to underwater photography, or our guide to underwater macro photos!


Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.