While filming their online series Wild Ocean Week, biologist Lizzie Daly and underwater cinematographer Dan Abbott spotted a human-sized barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) off the coast of Cornwall, near Falmouth, England in July of 2019. Of the 25 minute encounter, she told The Guardian:
“I’ve never seen one that big. We had seen a few smaller jellyfish at a beautiful reef nearby, and then out of the murk came this huge, beautiful jellyfish. You just take a double look and ask yourself if it’s actually a metre and a half long.
She shared photos and a video of the encounter with the majestic creature, which poses no threat to humans and can be found “in the northeast Atlantic, and in the Adriatic, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Sea of Azov.” Understandably, the footage went viral.
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SO THIS JUST HAPPENED😱💙 Diving with a giant barrel jellyfish! I could not think of a better way to celebrate the end of #WildOceanWeek. The full video of the dive is LIVE right now! I'll put the link in my stories if anybody wants to spend just two minutes watching this breathtaking moment coming face to face with a barrel jellyfish THE SAME SIZE AS ME while diving off of the coast of Falmouth 💙 What an unforgettable experience, I know barrel jellyfish get really big in size but I have never seen anything like it before! For anybody who is in Cornwall do come on down to Maenporth tomorrow at 12pm for a beach clean. There should be a good crowd of us rounded up now so it will be fun – and it will be followed by a small talk about the trip! Thank you Wild Ocean Week and of course the @sharkman_dan for the incredible footage 🎥😍
Wild Ocean Week is “a fundraising campaign for the Marine Conservation Society of the United Kingdom created by Daly, that was meant to document various marine species off the coast.” One more look from The Washington Post.