Researchers Capture Footage of Deep-Sea Jellyfish with 30-Foot Arms

Written by Hannah Crawford
Updated: October 31, 2023
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It’s not every day that we get to have a majestic view of deep-sea creatures. And with the technology that we possess today, it is amazing to not only be able to see them but to study and share them with others.

Jellyfish Sighting in Monterey Bay

The next YouTube video posted in this blog post takes us to Monterey Bay, located in California. This video was filmed and shared by the MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.) They have, to date, received more than 83 million views across all their videos. They share a short description of the history of this jellyfish below.

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“The giant phantom jelly was first collected in 1899. Since then, scientists have only encountered this animal about 100 times. It appears to have a worldwide distribution and has been recorded in all ocean basins except for the Arctic. The challenges of accessing its deep-water habitat contribute to the relative scarcity of sightings for such a large and broadly distributed species.”

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Giant Deep-Sea Jellyfish

At the start of this majestic documentary, we see this giant deep-sea jellyfish that looks like something that is man-made film. However, it is not, and it’s incredible to see how beautiful it looks. 

The MBARI team shared that they caught this footage of a giant phantom jelly (Stygiomedusa gigantea) back in November 2021. At 39 seconds, we get an amazing view of this jellyfish. It has 30-foot arms, and with this view, it’s easy to see how they could be that long. These jellyfish can have a maximum size of 3.3 feet across and 33 feet (10 meters) in length. They are called deep-sea creatures for a reason; they go to 21,900 feet (6,665 meters.)

Are There Jellyfish in California?

moon jellyfish

Moon jellyfish form a school.

©Gino Santa Maria/

When we look at jellyfish in all their beauty, we tend to have a million questions about them. It’s important first to remember that there are over 2,000 species of jellyfish in our oceans. And when it comes to wanting to know where jellyfish live because there are so many species, they can be found in oceans all over the world.

California is home to 1,000 species of animals. And yes, of these species, we can find jellyfish in California. According to the Safe Sea in California, “Jellyfish can be found along the California coast throughout the year, but their presence tends to peak during the warmer months, typically from May to August when water temperatures rise and conditions become more favorable for them.” 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © W.carter / CC0 – License / Original

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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