First discovered in 2003 – at a depth of over 2,000-feet, in a section of the Pacific Ocean known as the Monterey Submarine Canyon, which is located off the California coast – these 3-foot wide, predatory jellyfish are unlike any others known to modern science.
Dubbed “granrojo” (which is Spanish for “big red”) by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, this creature has been described in the May 5 – 2003, issue of National Geographic as being a “gelatinous blood-red cannonball between two and three feet across that floats through the deep ocean waters quietly devouring prey.”
Marine biologist Larry Madin, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, compared the significance of this discovery to that of finding a new large feline: “The discovery of Big Red is a little like finding the first member of the cat family. It is a pretty interesting find.”
George Matsumoto, a jelly specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, who named the species had this to say: “We know almost nothing about it. What it does. What it eats. What eats it… It’s very large, it’s a predator and we assume that it must play an important role in the deep sea.”