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.
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.
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in Rock’n’Roll and on that note I give you Alvin and the Chipmunk’s version of the classic song ‘Purple People Eater’ originally made by Sheb Wooley in 1958.