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There’s A New Species of Jellyfish, And Dear God It’s Horrifying

Why, Nature, why? What have we ever done to you?

jellyfish hat

Hey, do you enjoy going for carefree swims in warm ocean water? Not any more, punk! An enormous undiscovered species of jellyfish has washed up on the Tasmanian shores and into our nightmares.

A family found the 1.5 meter-wide specimen on a Hobart beach last month,  and the picture of their children (who are, alarmingly, touching the alien creature) helps provide some visual context for just how much jelly we’re dealing with here.

Jellyfish expert (Jellypert?) Dr. Gershwin of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, says the species is one they’ve “known about for a while but it’s not yet named and classified.”

Don’t let that give you any comfort though. Gershwin says the specimen is most likely from the Lion’s Mane group, giant jellies who’ve been known to grow ten feet across and develop tentacles up to 125 feet long.

Lion’s Manes may even be related to Cyanea jellyfish, the world’s largest jellies, although those giants are typically found only in Arctic waters.

Dr. Gershwin says this new specimen is just one of three different Lion’s Mane species recently discovered in the waters of Tasmania. (Dear God, there are three different species of these? Three?) and that scientists are baffled by the recent large boom of ginormous jellies in warm waters, saying they’re “very keen to find out why.”

Gershwin explains the new jelly’s puke-like appearance by saying the specimen is likely upside down, although she says in general Lion’s Mane jellyfish look like “a dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath”, ie, very weird.

Scientists are apparently very eager to “find out more about” the monster jelly, and we think that’s best. This is obviously one of the four jellies of the apocalypse, and we need to be prepared for when the fourth one shows up.

Nature has a lot to get back at us for, so I suggest we surrender now.

(via BBC and Business Insider, image via Brandon Milner Photography)

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