By Earth Porm
Jan 13, 2015
Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine biologist and underwater photographer from Russia currently leading a 3-year journey across the world’s oceans.
Semenov is joined by a team of scientists on what is known as Aquatilis Expedition, a multi-year research journey to explore the hidden animal kingdom residing deep beneath the waves of the ocean. The group is especially interested in studying the vast species of mysterious jellyfish that remain largely unstudied by the scientific community.
The photographs you see here, taken by Semenov, highlight the alien beauty he and his team are currently encountering as they explore the ocean in search of the secret life of jellyfish.
Once you reach 300 feet beneath the ocean’s surface you are surrounded by complete darkness. Without any landmarks to identify your location you are practically suspended in a space void of time. Yet, the longer you remain here and the closer you look, the more likely you are to see the most gorgeous, colorful translucent creatures ever. Some of the flashing creatures are as small as your finger, while others look to be the size of a bus or building.
The creature being described is gelata, an unstudied, mysterious entity that calls the world’s oceans home. The reason these species remain so understudied is that they are not particularly easy to study from a lab far off shore. The Aquatilis team explains, “You can’t actually study gelata in labs or in an aquarium, because their bodies can fall apart from a single human touch.”
The team is heavily equipped with the latest research technology in order to capture and study jellyfish. One of these awesome custom products is a super-tech robot with a built-in 4K camera, perfect for capturing photos of underwater creatures otherwise left undiscoverable.
The Aquatilis Expedition is a three-year adventure into the unknown, largely initiated in order to study the many diverse types of stinging water creatures and gelatinous zooplankton. The team plans to travel over 30,000 miles on a custom-built yacht known as “Aquatilis.”
The Aquatilis Expedition is truly a modern day odyssey. For starters the team is using social media to fuel interest and learning, as well as the funds necessary to afford the trip. They are also relying on the latest technology to achieve knowledge previously unattainable.
The Aquatilis yacht took off back in May of 2014 from Azores, and headed off through the Atlantic towards South America and around Cape Horn, before making a stop in California and Hawaii. The team then heads to New Zealand, followed by Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Lastly, the team plans to circle Africa before finishing up their wild adventure in the Canary Islands.
On the hunt for a plethora of surprises, the team plans to spend a great deal of time searching areas typically left untraveled. As a result of their efforts, the Aquatilis Expedition hopes that in-depth investigations conducted deep under the ocean surface will have a significant impact on our greater understanding of how our actions impact the world’s ecosystems.
On the groups Facebook page they write, “The places we sail to will take our breaths away with their beauty, or with their danger. The use of the most cutting-edge technology will give us the opportunity to scrutinize gelata in their natural glory. Our experiences will be broadcast all over the world, encouraging everyone to embark on their own journey of discovery.”
You can follow Aquatilis on their incredible underwater journey via Facebook! You can also help fund the expedition on indiegogo.com.
Photo Credits: aquatilis.tv, shilovpope.livejournal, FB