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Thu Oct 30 20:15:28 SAST 2014

New giant jellyfish species washes up in Australia

Sapa-dpa | 06 February, 2014 12:19
The new species, 1.5 metres across and nicknamed "snotty" because of its white and pink colouring, was photographed by beachgoers who found it washed up near Hobart, the Tasmanian state capital.
Image by: JOSIE LIM / AFP

Australian scientists finally have got to see a species of giant jellyfish they have known about for more than a decade, news reports said Thursday.

The new species, 1.5 metres across and nicknamed "snotty" because of its white and pink colouring, was photographed by beachgoers who found it washed up near Hobart, the Tasmanian state capital.

"It's a whopper," marine biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin told national broadcaster ABC. "We do get large jellyfish species and this one just happens to be this absolutely enormous specimen."

Gershwin was alerted to the find at Howden beach when a photograph was forwarded to the government's research outfit, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Gershwin, who has been researching jellyfish at the CSIRO for 20 years, said she had documented two giant jellyfish species and this would be the third to be officially recognised.

"It's one of those things that really makes us come face to face with the fact that there are things we don't know about out there in nature, particularly in the ocean," she said.

The world's biggest jellyfish, 3 metres in diameter, live in the Arctic.

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