Giant Jellyfish Discovery


An enormous and new species of jellyfish was discovered in early 1998 in the eastern Pacific. It was named Chrysaora achlyos from the Greek 'achlys' meaning mist, darkness and obscurity - a clever reference to its dark coloration and rare appearance. The subject had a smooth, purple/black coloured bell and light pink tentacles stretching 20ft.

The jellyfish had previously been reported in large numbers off southern California and Mexico during 1989. It is thought to have arrived there from the south, approaching along the outer coast of the Baja California peninsula.

It has actually appeared on two occasions at least this century with photographs either unlabelled or incorrectly identified published in 1926 and 1965. It hadn't been seen since 1989 though, and this is the first occasion it has been considered a new species to science.