Some specimens of Deepstaria reticulum and Deepstaria enigmatica, along with other related species from the deep sea.




Rare footage of a Deepstaria, a huge jellyfish. Filmed in April 2012 near Britain.


Dat is ongelofelijk!

I just learned this word from Memrise, and the word itself seemed pretty ongelofelijk to me! If you don’t know, the word is “unbelievable” in English.

Analysis incoming:

Now, unbelievable is made up of a few parts, called morphemes. These are the prefix “un-,” the root “believe,” and the suffix “-able.” These are easily recognizable and familiar to any English speaker, and if one has never seen the word “unbelievable,” they still can infer the meaning from the morphemes. “Un-” denotes negation or opposition, “believe” is defined as “accept as true or real,” and the suffix “-able” means, very succinctly, “able” (though interestingly enough, that is not the etymology of it; see able and -able). So the three morphemes all together mean “not able to be believed or accepted as true or real.”

This being the case, ongelofelijk has no such readily visible morphemes to me as a relatively inexperience Dutch learner. I can recognize -lijk, which i have seen as what i assume to be a suffix attached to a few adjectives, but that then leaves the entire rest of the word to look at. A small bit of reading brings me to the Wiktionary, where i read that “-lijk” can be the same as “-able” in English, so that’s nice. I do some critical thinking and work out that “on” is probably a prefix related to the English “un-,” which is reasonable given how closely related the two languages are (very often i can’t do this type critical thinking in Portuguese, for example), and it turns out that the Wiktionary substantiates this. So i now have what i assume to be three morphemes: “on-,” “gelofe,” and “-lijk.” The prefix and suffix give me “unable,” so i will assume that “gelofe” is probably a root verb meaning “believe.” Some playing around in Google Translate reveals that the root word is “geloven,” meaning “to believe,” which means gelofe is just a slightly reduced form of it. I also learned that “geloof” is the Dutch word for “faith” or “belief.”


By the way, the thing in the video that is so ongelofelijk is a type of jellyfish known as “deepstaria enigmatica,” and yes, it is a real thing. It was the most unbelievable thing i could think to post.


Deepstar Enigma

The awesomely-named scyphozoan jellyfish Deepstaria enigmatica was christened after the deep-sea research submersible that collected the very first specimen back in 1966—the Deepstar 4000

The first specimen, which measured 50 cm in diamater, was encountered in the San Diego at a depth of 723 m. Other specimens of this deep-sea jelly have been collected from depths of over 1,000 m. 

In the first clip above, you can see the intricate network of gastrovascular (read: digestive system) canals that radiate from the stomach of D. enigmatica and across its vast umbrella. 

In the second clip, you can see its oddly-shaped gonads. Sexy.

Video source: ChablisChannel

References: Russell. 1967.

                    Winkler and van Soest. 1981.