Incredible Underwater Life of the White Sea (PHOTOS)

By Camille Mann and Edecio Martinez
Published: September 4, 2013

A World of Jellyfish

A cyanea is seen in an image taken on July 6 2010. The specimen was found swimming in the White Sea, located near the northwest coast of Russia. (Flickr/Alexander Semenov)

Photographer Alexander Semenov dives deep into the freezing waters of Russia’s White Sea to capture thousands of images of stunning Arctic underwater life.

From beautiful jellyfish to creepy sea slugs, the photos on the following pages feature several species Semenov found during dives from 2008 to 2013 while working at Moscow’s White Sea Biological Station, according to Flickr. Some of the creatures were found burrowed beneath the seafloor.

“Most people think that pretty, colorful animals cannot live in the cold, dark water of the northern seas beyond the Polar Circle,” Semenov, a marine biologist and photographer, explains on his website. “This is almost true; there are no coral reefs, no clownfish or any other funny colored fish. The White Sea reveals another world with its own aliens, highlighting some truly amazing creatures.”

On his dives Semenov encountered several different types of jellyfish, including the very colorful Cyanea capillata also known as the lion’s mane jellyfish, the saucer-like Aurelia aurita also known as moon jellyfish and many more of the mysterious invertebrates.

The marine creatures that lack brains, blood and even hearts are made up of 95 percent water, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The lion’s mane jellyfish, which is featured prominently above, is one of the largest known jellyfish species — one specimen measured 120 feet, according to The Oregon Coast Aquarium.

NEXT: Spectacular Macro Photos of Starfish and Coral

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