A jellyfish apparently the size of a human was spotted off the coast of southwest England, and a stunning video shows the marine creature swimming by divers.
The giant barrel jellyfish was found swimming Saturday near Falmouth when Lizzie Daly, a biologist and ambassador for the United Kingdom’s Marine Conservation Society, and underwater cameraman Dan Abbott were diving.
The two were finishing up their expedition, Wild Ocean Week – an effort to raise awareness and money for the conservation group – when the jellyfish appeared.
“It was breathtaking,” Daly told USA TODAY. “We had been diving for about half an hour, and out of the murky water was this single enormous jellyfish.”
Diver Lizzie Daly estimates the jellyfish was almost 5 feet long, about as tall as she is. (Photo: Dan Abbott / Wild Ocean Week)
Daly said she and Abbott swam with the marine creature for about an hour.
While seeing these jellyfish off Cornwall’s coast is not uncommon during the summer months as waters warm in the area, Daly said she had never swam with one this large. She estimates it was almost 5 feet long, about as tall as she is.
“It was very humbling to be swimming alongside of it,” she said. The animal isn’t a threat to humans and has only a mild sting, she added. “It was just a pretty majestic creature.”
Woah!!!!! We went diving in Falmouth yesterday to finish off #WildOceanWeek and came across this GIANT barrel jellyfish! ? What a way to finish off this marine wildlife adventure! ? pic.twitter.com/NNwDelfWyV
The encounter came on Daly and Abbott’s last leg of their Wild Ocean Week. As part of the project, they set out to film wildlife encounters for a week and pushed to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society, a marine nonprofit that works on cleanups, education and legislation to protect the oceans and coasts.
According to the Dorset Wildlife Trust, the barrel jelly is the largest jellyfish that can be found in the U.K.’s waters, measuring up to almost 3 feet across their bell and weighing up to 75 pounds.
Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller
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