A New Jellyfish Just Dropped

A New Jellyfish Just Dropped
Image: Dorian Borcherds, via The Guardian

A new jellyfish has been found off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Despite it being terrifyingly large, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and it has researchers very interested.

Brought to our attention by The Guardian, a diver by the name of Dorian Borcherds captured footage of the jellyfish near PNG. He’s seen the big blob of beauty (or its friends) a few times in the past, he told The Guardian, but he finally thought to capture it.

According to the report, Borcherds sent the footage to his wife in South Africa, who uploaded it to The Jellyfish App. Yes, The Jellyfish App – it was set up by Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin. In her words, the report notes, the app’s purpose is to:

“Answer the age-old question: what is that blob and should I pee on [its sting]?”

Anyway.

Gershwin is reported as being unable to contain her excitement when she saw footage of the new PNG jellyfish. She initially thought the footage was the second sighting of a mysterious jellyfish, the Chirodectes maculatus. The Chirodectes maculatus was found decades ago on the Great Barrier Reef – it was sighted only once off the coast of far north Queensland, after a cyclone in 1997.

But Gershwin now believes the jellyfish captured off the coast of PNG is a new species. She told The Guardian it’s likely the new species of jellyfish probably belongs to the same genus as the one seen in the 90s.

The new species of jellyfish found in PNG is not as terrifying as the giant phantom jelly captured by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute earlier this year, (which looks more like a thick draped sheet than a spotted stunner), but a giant brainless blob is somehow capable of moving decisively through the water.

It’s terrifyingly beautiful.