Strangeness of life: this invertebrate is the most mysterious predator there is

A small camera specialized in the weak lights and surrounded by a glass globe made it possible to film a fascinating creature that lets itself float sandstone abyssal currents: Deepstaria enigmatica. This invertebrate that looks like a huge bag plastic 50 centimeters in diameter is a jellyfish, but unlike the others, this one does not have tentacles. The body of the animal is only composed of a large, thin, soupy umbrella that deforms at the slightest flow of water. The latter is traversed by interconnected canals which constitute its digestive system because, even in the absence of stinging tentacles, this astonished is a formidable predator.

Thanks to a hunting technique called baggingliterally ” bagging », it imprisons its prey in its umbrella, sometimes using bioluminescence to attract them. Deepstaria enigmatica was discovered 45 years ago, but it is so rare that scientists know nothing about its distribution, what it eats or how it reproduces. The genus Deepstaria includes a second species, Deepstaria reticulumequally enigmatic.


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