Where the weird things are

A benthic comb jellyfish seen in the  Marianas Trench Marine National Monument area. Photo / AP
A benthic comb jellyfish seen in the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument area. Photo / AP

New images from exploration voyages show how weird and wild it is under the sea.

Pictures taken of never-before-seen areas, especially off the eastern Pacific, show what looks like an imaginary world.

There's a delicate jellyfish, an eel with a strange head and a purple disco ball-like critter. And just in time for Halloween, there's a rare purple vampire squid, nicknamed for its red eyes and deep colour.

A fish of the family Aphyonidae. Photo / AP
A fish of the family Aphyonidae. Photo / AP

The images are being shown as part of the National Ocean Exploration Forum this week in New York.

"We're continually surprised by the variety of life that we find and what we're seeing," said Nicole Raineault, science operations director at the Ocean Exploration Trust.

An acorn worm. Photo / AP
An acorn worm. Photo / AP

"It just underscores ... how much more there is to discover out there."

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration undersea exploration off the Pacific coast found hundreds of undersea vents spewing methane - a potent heat-trapping gas - that scientists didn't know existed, said Bob Embley, a NOAA senior research scientist.

- NZ Herald

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