Photographer and Diver Captures Rare Photos of ‘Aliens’ Living Underwater in the White Sea

By: Lauren | Last updated: Oct 20, 2023

Russian marine biologist, diver, and photographer Alexander Semenov found what many are calling “underwater aliens” deep in the White Sea. 

His story and photographs have made headlines around the world, as the ancient and almost unbelievable lifeforms that he found are so incredible to look at. 

Where Is the White Sea?

The White Sea can be found on the infrequently visited northwest coast of Russia. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

With depths ranging from 197 to 1,115 feet, the 34,700 square mile inlet is an absolute haven for wildly interesting animals that few people have ever seen before. 

The White Sea is Almost Impossible to Access

In addition to its remote location, the White Sea is extremely difficult to access because there is no road access. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

In the summer months, Semenov takes a boat into the White Sea, but during the winter, he needs a snowmobile in order to traverse the sea’s icy surface. For six months of the year, the sea is completely frozen over, and strong currents make diving here incredibly dangerous all year long. 

Braving the Elements to Get These Amazing Photos

However, while the White Sea is certainly not for the faint of heart, Semenov risked the dangers and experienced the harsh conditions in order to get these beautiful photos of the animals below. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

To capture these photos, he dives 200 feet down and uses high-tech camera equipment to find these animals in the dark abyss. 

The Giant Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

One of the fantastic animals he found was the giant lion’s mane jellyfish. It has eight clusters of tentacles, each made up of a whopping 150 separate tentacles that are each 120 feet long. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

The lion’s mane jellyfish is amazing in that it can release paralyzing poison and creates its own light in the dark. 

Semenov Comments on Witnessing These Out-of-this-World Creatures

Alexander told the world, “There are many incredible facts about the ocean, and as you delve deeper, you realize the true wonder of these creatures. Some of them can grow to over seven feet in dome size, with tentacles stretching up to 120 feet.”

Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

He continued, “Incredibly, these creatures can match the average height of a twelve-story building.”

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Discovering a Rare Zooplankton

One of his other finds is not nearly as large but is still quite important to the world of marine biology. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

This species of zooplankton, known as Hyperia glaba to experts, is a planktonic snail commonly known as Hydrozoans, the Greek word for water. 

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More Significant Findings

One of Semenov’s other exciting finds was an intestine-like gold ragworm that mostly lives inside the skeletons of dead whales who sank to the bottom of the sea.

Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

Though some ragworms use their jaws to catch fish and drag them into holes on the ocean floor for consumption. 

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Informing the Public Just How Rare These Animals Are

When explaining to the press why these animals are so exciting to see, he said, “These creatures have floated in the vast open space for millions of years. Over this time, evolution has made so many totally weird life forms.”

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

“I’m extremely lucky to see this world with my own eyes,” he said.

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Semenov’s Photos Weren’t Just Taken for Fun

While the photos Semenov captured from the White Sea are certainly a sight to behold on their own, the marine biologist actually took them in order to study these rare animals. 

Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

He and his research team are working out of Moscow State University on the Karelian Coast, where they will attempt to categorize and better understand the creatures of the deep. 

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Exploring the White Sea Provides Semenov a Platform to talk About His Findings

Just last week, Semenov gave an incredible talk at the Science Festival at Moscow State University regarding invisible underwater creatures. 

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Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

He will continue to spread the information he and his team have found in the White Sea within the world of marine biology and to the general public who are interested in learning about these amazing animals. 

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Semenov’s Photographs Are a Sight to Behold

Even for those who aren’t particularly interested in marine biology and the details of these million-year-old animals that live below the surface, the photos alone may be enough to cause excitement. 

Source: Alexander Semenocv/Facebook

Alexander Semenov’s photos will not only change the way scientists see the ocean but also how the general public does as well. 

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