What are the longest animals in the world? Hint: you’ve most likely never heard of them. They glow in the dark and have many stomachs, mouths and tentacles – sometimes hundreds. They’re about the width of a broomstick, but they can grow to be more than 100 feet long. So although blue whales are bulkier, some species of this marine animal are longer.

The longest animals in the world aren’t what you’d imagine.
The longest animals in the world aren’t what you’d imagine.

They’re called siphonophores (that’s pronounced sigh-FAWN-oh-for) and they’re cousins to the jellyfish you can see at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Aliens, giant caterpillars, tropical flowers: siphonophores resemble all three. And in today’s QUEST television story you’ll have a unique opportunity to see footage of the siphonophores that live in the Monterey Bay, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

This week’s story also features a behind-the-scenes visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s jellyfish exhibit. And I can promise you that you’ve never seen the orange sea nettles in the giant blue tank quite like you’ll see them in this story.

  • teellbee

    This was a wonderful program. I loved watching the jelly fish drift so elegantly through the sea. The interviews were really interesting gave a lot of information very concisely. Thanks for a terrific production.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed the program. QUEST editor Gail Huddleson and I certainly had a great time working with the beautiful footage of jellies that the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) let us use.

    All the best,
    Gabriela Quiros

  • Planktongrl

    Nice story! I enjoyed the way you captured both the beauty of the gelata and the personalities of these researchers.


Gabriela Quirós

Gabriela Quirós is a video producer for KQED Science and the coordinating producer for Deep Look. She started her journalism career more than 20 years ago as a newspaper reporter in Costa Rica, where she grew up. She won two national reporting awards there for series on C-sections and organic agriculture, and developed a life-long interest in health reporting. She moved to the Bay Area in 1996 to study documentary filmmaking at the University of California-Berkeley, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She joined KQED as a TV producer when its science series QUEST started in 2006 and has covered everything from Alzheimer’s to bee die-offs to dark energy. She has won three regional Emmys and has shared awards from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Independent from her work in KQED's science unit, she produced and directed the hour-long documentary Beautiful Sin, about the surprising story of how Costa Rica became the only country in the world to outlaw in vitro fertilization. The film aired nationally on public television stations in 2015.

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