Sunday, 10 August 2014

Giant jellyfish spotted in the Adriatic for first time since Second World War

The jellyfish can grow to more than three feet in diameter and is one of the rarest to occur in the Mediterranean

The bizarre but beautiful creature was first discovered off the coast of Dalmatia in the 1880s by a German naturalist, Ernst Haeckel




By Nick Squires, in Rome

2:57PM BST 07 Aug 2014

A giant, fuchsia-pink jellyfish has been spotted in the Adriatic Sea for the first time in 70 years.

The Drymonema dalmatinum, which can grow to more than three feet in diameter, was photographed by amateur divers off the northern coast of Italy.

It is one of the rarest jellyfish to occur in the Mediterranean and had not been documented in the Adriatic since 1945.

The bizarre but beautiful creature derives its Latin name from the fact that it was first discovered off the coast of Dalmatia in the 1880s by a German naturalist, Ernst Haeckel.

It was observed on a few occasions after that but sightings dried up at the end of the Second World War, only for the species to emerge again now.

Little is known about the jellyfish - marine biologists do not even know how powerful its sting is. Nor are they sure whether the species’ sudden re-emergence in the Adriatic is linked to the effects of global warming.

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