The ocean is a mysterious and wondrous place, teeming with unusual species with unusual characteristics. One such odd species washed up on an Australian beach lately, perplexing locals. The brown jelly-like mass was discovered at Kemp Beach near Yeppoon, Queensland, on the southern side of the Great Barrier Reef. The mystery monster, which has never been seen before, has taken the internet by storm, with people wondering where it came from and what it is.
A Facebook page called Australian Native Animals posted a photo of the critter sitting on the beach among the low tide. “A friend just posted this on her FB asking if anyone knew what it could be? She said it looked jellyish.”
Well, soon enough, people came up with their guesses. One user wrote, ”pretty sure it’s the same as a heap washed up in Port Hedland at the moment. Definitely a jellyfish if its the same ones as up here,” while another commented, ”Definitely a small lions mane jellyfish and that brown is a normal colour.”
A third user commented, “So I’ve done a little research (googling) and from what I can see/find it appears to be a tomato jellyfish (Crambione Mastigophora).”
Many others said the same thing and seemed to concur that it was a tomato jellyfish. The jellyfish, however, was most likely a lion’s mane cyanea barkeri, according to marine researcher Dr. Lisa Gershwin. According to the marine biologist, the body of this kind of jellyfish is chocolate brown and may be found across Queensland.
The species is not harmful to humans, but it can sting if handled by beachgoers. The blob fish is a member of the fathead sculpin family, which lives in the Indian and Pacific oceans at depths ranging from 100 to 2,800 meters.