Rare Purple Jellyfish Found On Cronulla Beach

A runner on a southern Sydney beach discovered an unusual bright-purple jellyfish on the sand. On Friday morning, Stephanie Paterson captured the odd creature while running along Cronulla beach.


‘Its incredible brightness made me halt,’ Ms. Paterson wrote online. ‘I have a photo and would like to know what type it is. Never seen one like this.’ According to Murdoch University marine scientist Mike Van Kuelen, the mysterious organism seemed to be a Crown Jellyfish, widespread in northern tropical waters. East Australian Current (EAC), which runs from the tropics to southern Australia, drove it down to Sydney.

Because of the warming waters caused by climate change, tropical animals may be seen outside their typical environment, according to Mr Van Kuelen. IN RECENT MONTHS, a maritime heatwave has caused bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, indicating a particularly severe EAC this year. This kind of current boost frequently pushes tropical species south.’ Those who commented on the post were awestruck.

Wow! That’s unusual. Thank you. Kid-friendly.’ said one. ‘Wow!’ remarked another. A Crown Jellyfish washed ashore on a Byron Bay beach recently. The brilliant purple color and dense lumpy part on top of a thinner wavy tail were photographed online. An expert earlier informed Daily Mail Australia that the species is becoming more common throughout the southern NSW coast. Stephen Keable of the Australian Museum Research Institute says the Crown Jellyfish is found in Queensland from Hervey Bay to Stradbroke Island. Mr Keable noted there had been records south to Bermagui and Narooma. Last year’s jellyfish photos were shared on the Byron Bay Community Board Facebook page. CSIRO plankton researcher Julian Uribe-Palomino believes it is a Crown Jellyfish, Cephea cephea.

The cepheid jellyfish is usually found in the deep water, not near or on the shore. Oceans: Indian and Pacific, Red Sea, East Atlantic, Atlantic waters off West Africa (Atlas of Living Australia). ‘Animals that dwell in open waters are rarely seen unless powerful winds or ocean currents sweep them onto the shore,’ Mr. Uribe-Palomino said. The scientist urged anyone who finds one to contact the Atlas of Living Australia with photos and details. Inviting people to submit data may assist researchers track species distribution, frequency of observation, and seasonality, he told Daily Mail Australia.

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