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Images: Jason Meets the Carnivorous Sea Squirt

Images captured by the remotely operated vehicle Jason revealed several previously unknown species during a recent expedition to the Tasman Fracture, south of Australia, including this translucent, 1.6 foot (half-meter) tall carnivorous sea squirt. It traps prey in its funnel-shaped head. (Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, WHOI/Jess Adkins, Caltech)

Another new species discovered on the Tasman Fracture expedition was this "waffle cone" sponge, 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) wide and 6.5 feet (200 centimeters) tall. (Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, WHOI/Jess Adkins, Caltech)

This newly discovered species of soft coral, called a gorgon's head coral, was found using the remotely operated vehicle Jason during a December 2008-January 2009 expedition off Tasmania, Australia. (Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, WHOI/Jess Adkins, Caltech)

Using Jason, researchers were able to reach as far down as 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 feet) into the Tasman Fracture, a deep trench in Australia's 42,500-square-kilometer (16,400-square-mile) Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve.
(Map courtesy of Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Commonwealth of Australia)

The remotely operated vehicle Jason is lowered in 2006 to explore an erupting underwater volcano near the Marianas Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The deep-sea explorer returned to the site in April 2009. (Photo by Tom Bolmer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)