The Purple Plankton Eater – Australian Wildlife Just Keeps Getting Stranger

Image courtesy of Coolum Surf Lifesavers

Image courtesy of Coolum Surf Lifesavers


Well folks let hear it again for another new addition to the weird, the wacky and the wonderful wildlife that inhabits the continent of Australia and it’s surrounding oceans.  It appears we have another previously undiscovered species to grace our shores. Early Wednesday morning a purple jellyfish [and yes I said purple] washed up onto the shores of Coolum Beach in Queensland.  This incredible find was handed over to scientists at Underwater World who then brought it to the attention of marine biologist Dr Lisa Gerwin from the CSRIO Marine and Atmospheric Research Centre.


Is it just me or is Barney kinda creepy?

Is it just me or does anyone else find Barney kinda creepy?


Despite appearing to be a lost internal organ from Barney the Dinosaur it does appear that it may actually be classified to the genus Thysanostoma even though these are usually brown or beige making it very unusual.  Dr Gerwin believes that it is most unlikely that it’s coloration is caused due to ingestion or contact with some substance and is in fact its natural appearance.  Although it does have characteristics of the Thysanostoma the fact that it is so large and found in an unusual locality raises some very interesting questions.  Dr Gerwin to the spoke with the Guardian saying:

It’s straight out of science fiction and it begs the question, if it’s such a vibrant, different color, what other features does it have?The fact that this jellyfish is big, the fact that it’s been found in a different locality and the fact that it’s a spectacularly different color… makes me wonder whether this really is a new species. It’s really exciting.

Loved the Purple-People-Eater

Loved the Purple-People-Eater

Honestly after the confirmation of a new species of spider in Western Australia  [The Jumping Peacock Spider] I thought nothing would ever really surprise me about just how incredibly strange and yet beautiful the wildlife here is.  This however takes it up another notch.

While it will most likely be classified under the genus Thysanostoma and then be assigned some complicated Latin name specific to it’s species I will always think of it as the possible offspring of The Purple People Eater.  Only this offspring is a vegetarian and so it should therefore go by The Purple Plankton Eater instead.

There could of course be a very good reason for it to be in an unusual place, like the Purple People Eater it could have come to start a career in Rock’n’Roll and on that note I give you Alvin and the Chipmunk’s version of the classic song ‘Purple People Eater’ originally made by Sheb Wooley in 1958.






13 thoughts on “The Purple Plankton Eater – Australian Wildlife Just Keeps Getting Stranger

  1. I swear you folks do have the most interesting animals.. Do your cats get eaten my pythons.. “Dear. Where is the cat?”


      • Dog get eaten by what the snakes? Are you sure you aren’t living in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo.. Or maybe a aquarium. Then the box jelly fish my goodness…

        Liked by 1 person

      • You don’t give it much thought to be honest – it’s just where you live. In the capital cities and surrounding suburbs there is little to no wildlife wandering around due to loss of their habitats. The further inland west or north you go however opens things up quite a bit. For example at Xmas time the beaches in south east Qld are perfect but from the Whitsundays upwards it’s the stinger season so no surfing unless you’re wearing a stinger suit or you want to commit suicide in a novel and truly painful way. Another example in Brisbane you won’t see a kangaroo outside of a wildlife park but 2 hours drive north or west and you see them everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m still blown away that they sell kangaroo meat in stores… What do they call it and what part do they take it from. Do they have different cuts like beef… Sounds rather terrible to do that to a kangaroo…


  2. Whew, a purple jellyfish. From the picture it sure looks like it ate whomsoever was wearing the flip-flops on either side of it. Either that or the jelly fish was wearing the flip-flops and had just kicked them off to relax when the picture was taken. Ha! You could write a blog that covered only unusual fauna in Australia and you’d have enough new material for centuries. Really cool pics and article Jenni.


    • I think the life savers put the thongs there to give a scale as to the size of it in a photograph. It is pretty spectacular thought isn’t it. 😀


  3. Great post! I put my tea down when I saw it…so I could take a closer look! My god, that is AWESOME!!!!!! 🙂
    (And yeah, Barney is a bit….dot dot dot)


    • Oh good so it’s not just me who finds him/it/whatever somewhat ????? When I saw the pic I just stopped and stared at it for awhile myself – it makes an impression that’s for sure. 😀


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