THIS was the giant jellyfish discovered by a woman walking her dog on Shoreham beach on Thursday.
Sue Hall, who lives on a houseboat at Shoreham Beach, stumbled across the creature as she walked her dog Herbie at around 8.15am before heading to work.
She said the jellyfish was ‘massive’, measuring two to three feet across.
“It was huge,” she said.
Sue found the creature washed up in the surf about half way between the harbour and the beach huts.
She said she thought the jellyfish was dead, adding that she had never come across anything like it before.
Marine biologist Steve Savage said the jellyfish was not easy to identify because of the angle of the photo, but there was ‘a good chance’ it was a barrel jellyfish.
“The shape looks like this species and it has a maximum size of up to 90cm diameter,” he said.
“It also has eight chunky oral arms which look a bit like jellified cauliflower – which also seem to be visible in the photo.
“It is a plankton feeder so does not have long stinging tentacles but should not be touched with bare skin as it can cause an irritation.”
Steve said it was generally always good advice not to touch any jellyfish as some species could give a painful sting, even when dead.
“Jellyfish are fascinating creatures,” he said.
“Barrel jellyfish are seen off our coast in the summer in most years, mainly offshore, but some unfortunate individuals are brought into shallow waters by currents and then become stranded.
“They swim by pulsating their bell and have little chance of avoiding being washed up on the beach when close to shore.”