I learnt something fascinating this week!
If you haven’t seen it before, let me introduce you to the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish
It is the largest known species of Jellyfish on earth. It’s seldom found further than 42°N latitude meaning it’s confined to the waters around the Artic, northen Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans.
According to Wikipedia, the largest specimen was found on the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1870 and had a body diameter of 2.29m (7ft 6in) with tentacles reaching 37m (120ft) long!
Luckily for most of us, we’ll never encounter one of these giants in the flesh while swimming at the beach, but thankfully it’s not known to be fatal if stung. It will still hurt causing redness, swelling and general agony, but you apparently won’t die (unlike the evil Box Jellyfish that we have to deal with in Northern Queensland)!
Jellyfish move around usually within the top 20m of the ocean surface, using the currents to supplement their weak pulsations to drive them forward.
Like other jellyfish the Lion’s Mane can sexually reproduce both through a partner (in the Medusa phase) and by itself (asexually in it’s polyp stage). The female carries it’s fertilized eggs on it’s tentacles until they’re ready to be released onto a hard surface where they mature and then break free into little jellyfish.
It’s zoological name is cyanea capillata.