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The Largest Jellyfish in the World

Lion’s mane jellyfish (also known as arctic red jellyfish, the giant jellyfish) is the largest jellyfish in the world. The tentacles extend up to 20 meters.

Cyanea capillata

The largest specimen of a lion’s mane, officially recorded by man, was washed ashore by the surf, it was found in Massachusetts Bay in 1870. The bell (body) of the found creature had a diameter of 2.29 meters and tentacles 37 meters long – that is, it was longer than a huge blue whale. For a long time, giant jellyfish was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest animal, but in 1964, the sea threw a giant sea worm on the Scottish coast, which turned out to be 55 meters long. There is still controversy about this because it is known that worms can easily stretch so that they will be several times longer than their real length, in fact, they are not so large.

the hair jelly

These jellyfish are beautiful and interesting creatures, but it is still better to admire them from a distance. The deadliest weapon of jellyfish is their stinging cells. All types of jellyfish have them, but the degree of danger of the poison is different for them. Stinging cells are poisonous capsules, inside of which there are long hollow filaments twisted into a spiral, to which small sensitive hairs sticking out from the outside go. When you touch any of them, the thread straightens and is thrown out of the capsule, piercing the victim. At the same moment, poison flows along the thread.

arctic red jellyfish

Lion’s Mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) “vary greatly in size, many of them have bells up to 2.5 meters in diameter. Those that live in warmer latitudes grow to much more modest sizes, compared to their northern counterparts, their domes rarely exceed 50 centimeters in diameter The tentacles of huge individuals can stretch up to 30 meters or more. These organs are very sticky and are grouped into eight clusters, each of which contains more than one hundred tentacles. The bell itself is divided into eight lobes, making it look like an eight-pointed star. Those tentacles that can be called the jellyfish’s weapons are defiantly tangled and brightly colored while hiding in the center of the bell. In addition, the poisonous doodles are much shorter than the silvery, thin tentacles located at the edges of the bell. The size of the giant jellyfish also affects the color of the jellyfish: larger specimens also have a brighter color – crimson or dark purple, but smaller animals have a lighter or orange color.

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