When Monster Jellyfish Attack

australian jellyfish

First, it was the attack of the giant squids — and now this: the invasion of the monster Australian jellyfish that are threatening to devour the Gulf of Mexico's native fish. Just how big can they get? Well, according to Monty Graham of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab: "In their native waters, they tend to be fist-sized. Here in the Gulf, they can be a big as dinner plates." Not to mention they can weight up to 25 pounds.

While they don't pose a direct threat to humans, these Australian spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata) have a tendency to foul trawling nets and gulp down large quantities of fish eggs and larvae. They were originally discovered in the Gulf in 2000 — though in small numbers — and have since extended their range up to several mid-Atlantic states. "We just started getting reports of Phyllorhiza appearing on the east coast of Florida and as far up as North Carolina this year," said Graham. Local authorities are encouraging anyone who sees jellyfish to report the sightings to the Sea Lab's website.

Via ::LiveScience: Monster Jellyfish Invade Gulf of Mexico (news website)

See also: ::"All Aboard" - Two New Invasive Species Per Year Entering US/Canadian Great Lakes