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Lion's mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata)

There was a woman in the news recently who is lucky to be alive due to having a bad reaction to a jellyfish sting. That jellyfish was the Lion's Mane jellyfish. So how did it poison this woman? And what else can we find out about it?

Physical Description and Behavior

This jellyfish is considered one of the largest jellyfish known to exist. This jellyfish can grow to be upwards of 120 feet long, and 7 feet in diameter. Their bell is 20 feet in diameter and can range from crimson to dark purple.

Fun fact: In the summer of 2010, New Hampshire, 150 beachgoers were stung by the remains of a Lion's Mane Jellyfish. It is believed that all 150 people were stung by a single individual, as these jellyfish are so massive.

While most people stung will be perfectly fine, some people suffer from special allergies that make this jellyfish sting life-threatening. Since the main predators of this jellyfish are larger fish and sea turtles, part of the jellyfish could have been eaten while the rest floated to the shore, stinging 150 people.

These jellyfish rarely go too far below the surface, mainly staying at about 66 feet below the surface. They are also known for being both asexual as well as sexual, depending on their development. The Medusa stage can sexually procreate, while the polyp is asexual.

Habitat and Location

This is a coldwater species and cannot live in areas where there is warmer water. That said, where they do reside, they act as shelters for other small species, such as shrimp. They provide these small animals with shelter and food as well as protection from predators.

The Lion's Mane jellyfish is mainly found in Northern Europe. This includes Iceland, England, Norway, Sweden, and parts of Russia. They have even been spotted near the Eastern United States.

To find out more about this fascinating jellyfish, check out the video below:

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