Scuba Divers Get Incredible Footage of a Jellyfish the Size of a Human Being


There are all kinds of monsters lurking beneath the surface of the ocean, but only people brave enough to spend time without immediate access to unlimited oxygen get to see them with their own two eyes.

Luckily for the rest of us, some of those people go into the deep armed with cameras – which is exactly how Dan Abbott and Lizzie Daly dove into the Celtic Sea the day they ran across a giant barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo). How giant?

It was the size of person.

Image Credit: Facebook

The giant barrel jellyfish is not the largest species of jellyfish in the world (that title belongs to the lion’s mane jellyfish, which can grow up to 120 feet from top to the end of the tentacles – about the length of a blue whale), but it is the largest species anyone could expect to run into off the Cornish coast.

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While the lion’s mane jellyfish has a sting full of neurotoxins, the giant barrel jellyfish’s translucent, frilly tentacles are mostly harmless (aside from a minor sting).

The one captured on film by Abbott, an underwater cinematographer, was about 3 feet wide and 6 feet long.

“What an INCREDIBLE experience.” wrote Daly in a Facebook post. “Both Dan and I have never seen anything like it. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish the week in celebrating our incredible oceans.”

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If you’re hoping to have a similar experience, you’ll probably have to take up diving or snorkeling out at sea. These jellies rarely wander close to the coast, though they occasionally will, if lured by a large plankton bloom like the UK saw in 2002, 2014, and 2019.

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Make sure and check out the full Wild Ocean Week video if this sort of thing intrigues you – under the sea is definitely one of the last great frontiers!