The strange creature is likely a crown jellyfish, a large, stinging jellyfish that can eat algae, shrimp and animal eggs.
Jodie Clowes posted on social networks a photo of a purple creature with a dome-shaped body that washed up on the beach in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, on December 15. While some people praised the strange creature’s beauty, others feared it was very dangerous.
The vibrant purple color also caused a lot of controversy. “This is the result of marine biodiversity. This beautiful creature has a red mother and a blue father,” Cody Prasser humorously commented. One woman said that this was the result of chemicals dumped on the beach.
The creature may be a crown jellyfish, or cauliflower jellyfish (Cephea cephea), according to Julian Uribe-Palomino, a plankton researcher at the Australian Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). However, the only way to be sure is to check in person.
The crown jellyfish is a large, purple-blue jellyfish, about 50-60 cm in diameter. They have a shape reminiscent of a crown, underneath which radiate 8 long “arms” and about 30 thin filaments with stingers. However, they are not dangerous to humans. Crown jellyfish eat plankton, algae, shrimp and invertebrate eggs. This jellyfish rarely washes ashore.