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Giant jellyfish: Whopper jellyfish washes ashore in Australia, new species?

Josie Lim /
Josie Lim /
This giant jellyfish was found by the Lim family as they walked the beach last month in Australia.

A giant jellyfish was discovered on the shores of the island state of Tasmania last month, part of the Commonwealth of Australia to the south of the continent. The jellyfish, which has a five-foot diameter, is thought to be a species not yet classified, reports Sky News on Thursday.

Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), called the find a “truly magnificent animal” and said that although scientists have known about the existence of this giant non-polyp marine animal, they had yet to formally classify or study it.

“We're very eager to know more about it,” Gershwin said.

Josie Lim, who was walking the beach with her family, said they came across the giant jellyfish, and at first did not know what it was.

“It blew our minds away,” Josie said. “It's not really jellyfish territory here and all we could do was stand back and admire it.”

Gershwin said that the jellyfish likely washed ashore because of its massive weight, and got trapped on the sand. The species does sting, but is not life-threatening.

“She and her children found the jellyfish and took this amazing photo that just boggles the mind,” Dr. Gershwin, an expert in jellyfish, said, who described the jellyfish as a “dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath – they have a really raggedy look to them.”

CSIRO scientists collected pictures and samples and will begin a proper analysis and give the creature a name.

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