Scientists are trying to identify what’s likely to be the biggest jellyfish seen by you or anyone else today.
According to the BBC, the discovery of this mysterious giant jellyfish was made by a Tasmanian family last month. Josie Lim and her children stumbled upon the 5-foot sea creature on a beach near Hobart, washed belly-up on the shore.
Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, told the BBC that the specimen was part of the Lion’s Mane group, and that it “look[ed] like a dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath – they have a really raggedy look to them.”
She also noted that the discovery is something of a breakthrough. It is a “species I’ve known about for a while but it’s not yet named and classified,” Dr. Gershwin said. “We’re very eager to know more about it.”
Though gigantic, this little-known species is not the largest jellyfish in the world. The Cyanea Arctica, which is in the same group as the one found in Tasmania, is found in the North Atlantic and Arctic and can grow up to ten feet across.
Have you ever encountered a large jellyfish? Have you caught one while fishing? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.