JellyFish Facts

Giant Jellyfish

Giant Jellyfish picture

Giant Jellyfish

The largest known species of jellyfish that has been found anywhere in the marine waters of the world is the Lion's Mane Jellyfish or Cyanea capillata. They are known to roam the frigid cold waters of the Artic Sea, the North Atlantic Sea and the northern Pacific Ocean. The largest amongst the species are only found at the very top of the northern hemisphere, and nowhere below 42 degree N latitude. Some of the smaller jellyfish of the species have been found around Australia and New Zealand.

However, the Arctic's Lion Mane is not only the largest species of jellyfish or the largest animal in the waters of the world, but is the largest animal in the world. One specimen of Lion's Mane was found in 1870 in Massachusetts Bay, where it had been washed up on the shore. Its bell shaped body was over 7 feet in diameter and its tentacles were over 120 feet long. That is longer than the longest blue whale, which is commonly thought of as the largest animal in the world. The bell of the Artic Lion's Mane can grow up to 8 feet in diameter, and their tentacles can acquire the length of 150 feet.

In the case of Lion's Mane, the size is a huge determinant of color. The largest of the Lion's Mane specimens in the Arctic Sea are usually dark purple in color. As they grow smaller in size, their color becomes lighter until it is a light orange or tan. The body of the Lion's Mane is divided into eight lobes and each lobe has a cluster of 60 to 130 tentacles. There are also a number of oral arms near the mouth of the Lion's Mane to facilitate feeding. Lion's Mane, like other species of jellyfish, is carnivorous and feeds on zooplankton, small fish, and ctenophores. Also like some other jellyfish species, Lion's Mane also feeds on other jellyfish like moon jellies. They are usually fed upon by seabirds, larger fish, other jellyfish species and sea turtles.

Another giant jellyfish has recently been making headlines. This is Nomura's Jellyfish or Nemopilema nomurai. This is a very large jellyfish in the same size class as the Artic Lion's Mane. They grow up to 6 feet and 7 inches in size with tentacle length of over 100 feet. They weigh more than 450 pounds. They are usually found in waters between China and Japan, primarily centralized in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.

They have recently been in the news for the nuisance they are causing to the Japanese fishermen. Thousands of giant jellyfish have appeared near the coastline and they interfere with the work of the fishermen by constantly destroying their nets. The interesting fact about this species of jellyfish is that when they feel threatened, they release a large number of sperms in the water. Under favorable conditions, these sperms get fertilized and a large number of jellyfish are born. Despite numerous attempts, the problem of the giant jellyfish keeps increasing and some ingenious method will have to be found to deal with this issue.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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