This jellyfish diffracts light to emit a cool, shimmering rainbow effect underwater

·2 min read

This iridescent rainbow jellyfish looks like the coolest nightlight ever.

Known as the lobed comb jelly, its natural habitat is typically the open waters, but a few reside at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The oval-shaped marine creature gets its name from the eight rows of small comb-like plates it beats to travel underwater. As the comb jelly swims the rows diffract, or break up, light and ultimately create its sparkling rainbow luminescence.

Jellyfish have soft bodies to adapt to their oceanic habitat. Its thin skin contains its bone-less, shell-less body made of over 95 percent water. But don’t be fooled by these cute and cuddly looking jellies. They’re actually the natural predators of other jellies.

Comb jellies can even expand their stomachs to contain prey half their size. However, that doesn’t exactly mean they only eat jellies smaller than them. A comb jelly can eat larger comb jellies by biting off chunks of it. But as long as you don’t have to watch these delightful creatures cannibalize themselves, the jellyfish can be quite beautiful to look at.

If you’d like to get up close and personal with one of these majestic creatures, plan a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium once it reopens. The aquarium’s unique oceanfront location aims to inspire a connection between humans and sea animals. Meanwhile, its resident scientists are working to conserve marine habitats and educate the public.

If you enjoyed this story, In The Know also covered this rare footage of Australia’s deep sea.

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