The monster was initially thought to be a mystery jellyfish known as Chirodectes maculatus, according to Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services.
A strange-looking species that could be a new species of jellyfish was recently discovered off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Dorian Borcherds, the proprietor of Scuba Ventures in Kavieng, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, encountered the jellyfish and managed to film it.
“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 posted on Twitter.
Then, he asked his daughter to help him upload the video to the so-called “Jellyfish app.” This was a project started by Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, an expert on jellyfish with the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, who soon heard about Borcherds’ discovery.
The Independent claims that Gershwin at first thought the film showed the second appearance of the enigmatic jellyfish known as Chirodectes maculatus, which was discovered on the Great Barrier Reef in 1997.
She says, she “was complete gobsmacked” when she saw the photos.
“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 analyzing the video with the help of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Gershwin discovered a number of variations between the species in the footage and the Chirodectes maculatus, leading her to believe that the jellyfish Borcherds encountered was a new species.
This footage by Scuba Ventures in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea, shows one of the rarest animal sightings in the world: a Chirodectes maculatus, an incredibly rare genus of box jellyfish which had only been sighted once before.@Rainmaker1973— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) July 30, 2022
The newspaper reports that her peer reviewers will evaluate her work on the classification of the species.
Image Credit: Getty