Giant jellyfish found in Portsmouth Harbour

A barrel jellyfish found on the beach at Priddy's Hard in Gosport''''Picture: Richard Maclachan
A barrel jellyfish found on the beach at Priddy's Hard in Gosport''''Picture: Richard Maclachan
Picture: Franca Perletti

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A GIANT jellyfish has been spotted close to the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth Harbour.

Members of the public contacted marine experts at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium to help identify the mystery creature.

The bizarre-looking ocean wanderer, known as a barrel jellyfish, is one of the largest found in UK waters and can grow to the size of a dustbin lid with two-metre tentacles.

Richard Maclachlan, 66, lives in Heritage Way in Gosport. He said he saw it on the beach.

‘I have never seen a jellyfish on the beach at Priddy’s Hard before. It was quite large. It’s the largest species of jellyfish in British waters.’

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Lindsay Holloway said: ‘The barrel jellyfish is definitely one of the largest and most impressive-looking jellyfish species. They are normally seen in open oceans and it is relatively unusual to see them so close to shore.

‘The most likely explanation is the recent spell of warm, mild weather has led to an increase in the amounts of their favourite food, plankton, in the water and they are flourishing as a result.’

The jellyfish do not pose any threat to humans.