About 1.5 meters (five feet) across, the white jellyfish with
a pink spot in the middle is believed to be a relative of the
lion's mane species popularly known as a "snotty" as it
"There's the excitement, that it's a new species and then
there's the 'Oh my God factor' that it happens to be the size of
a Smart car," Lisa-ann Gershwin, a scientist at the government's
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation,
told Reuters. "It's like Disneyland for marine biologists."
A family walking along the beach found the giant jellyfish in
late January and sent a photo to the research organisation in
Hobart, Australia's southernmost city. Scientists believe the
jellyfish was later washed out to sea.
Gershwin and other scientists are also trying to discover why
there has been an enormous rise in jellyfish populations in the
waters around Tasmania this year.
"There's something going on that's causing a whole lot of
species to bloom in staggering numbers and we don't know why
yet," she said. "It's so thick with jellyfish that it's like
swimming in bubble tea."
(Reporting by Pauline Askin; editing by John O'Callaghan and Ron Popeski)
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