Remarkable new species of deep-sea crown jelly discovered in Monterey Bay

The deep-sea crown jelly (Atolla sp.) is one of the most common residents of the ocean’s midnight zone. They are found worldwide and can be abundant in deep water. Their bell has a signature scarlet color and one tentacle that is much longer than the rest. Fifteen years ago, MBARI researchers observed a new species of Atolla that lacked the telltale trailing tentacle. In 2022, they formally named Atolla reynoldsi in honor of Jeff Reynolds, the first volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, MBARI’s education and conservation partner. Discoveries like this remind us that we still know so little about the ocean. Threats like overfishing, plastic pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction also extend to the ocean’s depths. We must document the diversity of deep-sea life before it is lost forever.


Matsumoto, G.I., L.M. Christianson, B.H. Robison, S.H.D. Haddock, and S.B. Johnson. 2022. Atolla reynoldsi sp. nov. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Coronatae, Atollidae): A new species of coronate scyphozoan found in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Animals, 12(6): 742.

Out of the darkness of the deep, inky clouds take shape

When spooked by a predator, squids can quickly escape, leaving behind a shroud of ink.