Rare, 4-foot-wide jellyfish spotted on Florida beach

Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Experts said a massive 4-foot-wide jellyfish spotted by a Florida man taking a run on a beach is known as a "pink meanie," but the discovery is more rare than it is dangerous.

Anatoli Smirnov of Naples said he was jogging along Vanderbilt Beach in Collier County snapped a photo when he spotted what appeared to be a gigantic, 4-foot-wide jellyfish on the shoreline.


Smirnov joked to WFLA-TV that he "almost got eaten by giant jellyfish" while out for his run. He said he goes running on the beach frequently, but had never before seen such a large jellyfish.

James Douglass, a marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University, said the photo depicts a jellyfish known as a "pink meanie," but it isn't more dangerous than its much-smaller cousins.

"It will feel like mosquito bites," Douglass told WINK-TV. "This particular species is known to get very big but it's just rare and that's partly because it's a predator."

Douglass said the pink meanie's tentacles can extend to up to 70 feet in length.

He said the pink meanie may have been drawn to the beach by the presence of other jellyfish species.


"The prey of this jellyfish, a moon jelly fish, is quite abundant this time of year," Douglass said. "So there are probably a few more of these pink meanies around because their prey is so abundant."

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