Diver stunned as he finds world's largest jellyfish off English coast
A diver has stumbled across the world’s largest jellyfish while swimming in the North Sea.
Darren Martin, 59, from Tyne and Wear was taking photographs in the North Sea at Brown’s Bay when he spotted the giant sea creature.
The jaw-dropping lion's mane jellyfish can reach lengths of up to six feet.
He said: “It caught my attention as I’m always looking around for different things to photograph while I’m underwater.
“Its appearance was a cream-coloured, dome-shaped top with long tendrils – these look like long bits of thread and string hanging from underneath the dome.”
Lion's mane jellyfish can be orange, red or purple, but this particular one is orange in colour.
In Darren's photos Chris Hackers, another diver, can be seen swimming with the beast - but half of his body is hidden behind the creature's huge size.
The giant jellyfish also has hundreds of thin tentacles trailing beneath it, which makes it look almost like a ghost.
This species can have up to a whopping 1200 tentacles
Lion’s mane jellyfishes can at times grow even larger than a blue whale, and are known for being the largest in the world.
In 2010, 150 people fell victim to a mass-stinging at the hands of a lion's mane jellyfish in New Hampshire in the US.
This breed of jellyfish prefer to hang out in colder waters, which can explain why it was found in the North Sea.
Mr Martin guesses that the jellyfish he saw in English waters was more than six-and-a-half feet in size.
He said: “I’ve encountered them on numerous occasions but normally they are a lot smaller."
A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden describes the intensity of its sting as “pain which can persist for hours or days”.
Thankfully, the sting can not kill, but it can lead to nasty symptoms such as sweating, cramps, nausea and impaired consciousness.
Although, that it rare as most people will only experience mild pain.
Experienced diver Mr Martin said: “I was never concerned about being stung as it just feels like a nettle sting.
“But sometimes you can get an allergic reaction to them and the sting can last a day or two.”
He added: “The northeast coastline is fascinating and you never know what you are going to see when you descend into the sea.”