The Arctic jellyfish (cyan capillata) called “lion’s mane” is the largest jellyfish in the world and the longest animal known so far, surpassing the blue whale.
What draws attention to this fascinating animal is its size. There are numerous legends describing the jellyfish as a huge monster more than 6 meters in width and 100 meters in length (tentacles), though it usually measures about 3 meters and has tentacles up to 60 meters long .
Despite their common name, these jellyfish do not live exclusively in the Arctic and can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific and the North Sea. Long, translucent and almost invisible tentacles serve as a tool for capturing prey.
When a creature comes into contact with its tentacles, they automatically secrete a powerful poison that causes paralysis, particularly to the respiratory muscles. The prey generally dies suffocated.
The longest known specimen was found dead along the coast of Massachusetts in 1870: the body had a diameter of 2.3 m and its tentacles reached 36.5 meters in length.
Although this jellyfish is huge, the most damage caused to man so far is only temporary pain and redness of the skin around the affected area.
Something you might not know: in July 2010, about 150 people were stung by this type of jellyfish, who died and was scattered across Rye, USA. So keep in mind that although it is dead, it can also do damage.
The “lion’s mane” jellyfish comes in contact with people especially during summer and early autumn, when marine currents push them closer to the shore.