Today the weather here in Scotland was better than yesterday, so my boyfriend and I took the chance to spend it at the beach on the west coast. As the high tide started retreating in the afternoon, two massive Rizhostoma pulmo, the barrell jellyfish, sadly got stranded ashore, they were the biggest I have ever seen!
Take my footprint as a reference, it’s about 27 cm, or about 10.5 in. This is the largest jellyfish species in British waters, but it is more commonly found in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Sea of Azov and is also present in the Southern Atlantic, around South Africa.
On average they measure about 40 cm (16 in) in diameter, but I roughly estimated these two to be both above 50 cm (c. 20 in). They were big, but they can reach almost double this size!
They possess eight short and fleshy tentacles, but they are unable to cause any harm to humans as they feed on plankton, which they strain using the orange frills you see in photo, so they don’t need the urticating toxins found in other species.
The second one was still moving, I tried my best but couldn’t pull it back to the water…it was slippery, and so much heavier than you might think!