Video of 'New Species of Jellyfish' Leaves Researcher 'Gobsmacked'
Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, a jellyfish expert with the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, initially suspected that the creature was a mysterious jellyfish known as Chirodectes maculatus.
A peculiar-looking creature that may turn out to be a new species of jellyfish has recently been spotted off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The jellyfish was encountered by Dorian Borcherds, owner of Scuba Ventures in Kavieng in the New Ireland province of Papua New Guinea, who managed to film the creature.
“Saw a new type of jellyfish while diving today. It has cool markings and is a bit bigger than a soccer ball and they are quite fast swimming,” Borcherds said on social media.
He then enlisted the help of his daughter to upload the video to the so-called Jellyfish app, a project co-founded by Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, a jellyfish expert with the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services who soon became aware of Borcherds’ discovery.
According to The Independent, Gershwin initially suspected that the video depicted the second sighting of a mysterious jellyfish known as Chirodectes maculatus, which was found on the Great Barrier Reef in 1997.
“I was complete gobsmacked when they sent me through the photos,” she said. “I thought, oh my God, what is this thing and where is it? This species had only been spotted once on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1990s.”
However, after she analyzed the video with the help of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Gershwin noticed a number of differences between the creature in the footage and the Chirodectes maculatus, leading her to suspect that the jellyfish Borcherds ran into is a new species.
Her paper on the species' classification is to be reviewed by her peers, the newspaper notes.