Ugly Species of Jellyfish Discovered

Washed up on a beach in Tasmania

giant jellyfish tasmania new species beach

Giant jellyfish look much better in the water.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps some things are best left undiscovered.

A previously unidentified species of giant jellyfish has been discovered in southern Tasmania and, good grief, is it ever disgusting. The 1.5-meter jellyfish, which looks like someone left a milkshake full of boogers out in the sun for a week, was discovered by the Lim family last month while they were collecting shells on a beach south of Hobart.

The family photographed their find and sent it to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), where Lisa-Ann Gershwin took on the case. "The thing that I first said when I saw it was, 'Phwoar.' It's a very scientific term," jokes Gershwin to the Sydney Morning Herald. "I'm just rapt by it, honestly. It's such an amazing find."

Reports of the elusive species had been crossing Gershwin's desk for years as accounts of an especially large jellyfish "with pink in the middle" floating around Tasmanian waters. "Probably about five years ago I finally put together in my head that there were really three different species of lion's mane jellyfish in Tasmania, or 'snotties,' as they're also called. Yes, snotties. They're a bit slimy," says Gershwin.

Gershwin says she has chosen a name for the species and will now attempt to get it formally named and classified.

If you still want to visit Tasmania, check out our latest feature on surviving a trip Down Under.

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