The aquarium has nothing to compare with this. Meet the Lion’s Mane, the largest jellyfish in the world. And it just so happens to grow its biggest in the Northern Pacific.
The Mane grows up to 2.5 meters across and can be as long as 37 meters including bell and tentacles. The higher the latitude the larger this species is known to grow. The largest specimen ever found was longer than a blue whale. It’s food for thought the next time you go swimming in the ocean.
Stings from the Mane are not uncommon, as the smaller of these fish are known to congregate around docks and sheltered waters. Even the dead Manes can break up in the water into many pieces and continue stinging swimmers. It’s more of a nuisance than a real danger, unless your body overreacts to the stings.
Most people would never think such big creatures could be so close to B.C., but in reality our ocean is full of a lot of cool creatures.
The Lion’s Mane has also been at the center one of the most mysterious photos of the internet. Below is a diver tailing a massive jellyfish. It’s been very difficult to find any credible information about the source of the photo, but the most credible story I’ve heard yet is that it was part of a “real or not?” section in a nature magazine.
Title photo credit Tetsuji Asano.