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Giant Jellyfish
Status: Probably fake
image Peter Wenker sent along this picture of a giant jellyfish. He doesn't think it's real, and I'd agree. I know that giant jellyfish do exist, such as the ones that recently appeared off the coast of Japan, but those were about the size of a washing machine, not the size of a truck. I've never heard of a jellyfish this big. So is this picture another product of Worth1000?

Update: Accipiter found a version of this same photo minus the diver, which would seem to indicate that the version with the diver has been photoshopped. (Unless it was the diver who was photoshopped out, but that seems very unlikely to me... [Wait a second, on a closer look it does seem that something might have been removed from the version without the diver. This will require more investigation.] ) The page he linked to also had some interesting jellyfish trivia, such as "The largest jellyfish ever found was a lion’s mane, with a bell 2m (7ft) across, and tentacles extending more than 35m" and "A collection of jellyfish is known as a smack."
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 09, 2006
Comments (49)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
It might just be my eyes after a long day at work, but it looks a tad photoshopped if you zoom into the edge of the object under the diver that overlaps the jellyfish.
Posted by Richard@Home  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  09:57 AM
Looks rather fake to me...
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  10:03 AM
I agree, it must be fake. I think if there were jellyfish this big they would be as well known as Great White sharks and giant squids. At the very least, Steven Spielberg would have made a horror movie about them by now.


Medusa Park
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  04:17 PM
It's just a montage of two photos:
A real jelly fish, and a real diver shot on a vastly different scale.

It's just like those giant animal postcards from circa 1900 where the chicken's as big as a barn or the pig is bigger than a house.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  04:38 PM
Hmmm. . .the largest jellyfish I've actually seen in person was a bit over 2 meters wide. So they do indeed get large. But unless that's a very, very petite diver, then that jellyfish in the picture is supposed to be at least twice as big as the one I saw. I agree that it's probably some sort of image manipulation.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  05:14 PM

Look halfway down the page.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  05:31 PM
Well Accipiter, I guess that clinches it.

Of course we can't discount the possibility the photo you linked to had the diver photoshopped out of it.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Jun 09, 2006  at  05:37 PM
Do a Google search: "giant jellyfish"

...and you'll get a useful thread. Consensus seems to be that "giants" up to 6 - 8 feet in diameter exist, and have possibly been increasing in numbers, but that there is little/no evidence of anything larger.

Also, the picture at the *top* of the article that Accipiter posted is said to be photoshopped as well; there's a larger version of the photo on the Snopes thread.

Also check out
Posted by peter_wenker  on  Sat Jun 10, 2006  at  03:22 PM
Captain Al, I'm reluctant to say it, but I think you're right - the photo in the article had the diver 'shopped out. If you look (not even closely), there's an obvious artifact of the item (camera?) the diver is carrying.

Oddly enough, searching both Snopes and googling "giant jellyfish snopes" came up either blank (the former) or with "no longer exists" pages (the latter).

Posted by karen  on  Sat Jun 10, 2006  at  09:36 PM
Woohoo, I've been mentioned by name on the Main Page! My life is now complete, I can die in peace without regrets.

Yes, I did notice that the picture I found was a little suspicious. But that's the only other copy of that picture I've been able to find. I was sort of hoping that somebody with a bit more computer skills than I have might be able to tell where they got their version of the picture.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon Jun 12, 2006  at  02:01 AM
Jellyfish never stop growing so it is possible for one to grow that big
Posted by Malfunctioned  on  Mon Jun 12, 2006  at  06:17 AM
Actually Karen and Alex, I was just kidding when I said maybe the diver was photoshopped out. But now that you showed the two pictures side by side it looks like that may have been done. Like you implied, why would anyone do that. The diver added a dramatic sense of scale to the photo and removing the diver ruined it.

There is another possibility: Maybe the jellyfish was relatively small and the diver was behind it, much further away. A photoshopper could have removed the object (camera?) carried by the diver and pasted it on top of the jellyfish to make it look like the diver was in front and the jellyfish was a giant.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Mon Jun 12, 2006  at  09:06 AM
"... The largest jellyfish ever found was a lion
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Jun 13, 2006  at  05:16 PM
If the picture with the diver is a fake, then picture without him is clearly a dfake of a fake. you can quite clearly see part of the diver's camera in the picture where he was erased.
Posted by Shai Seger  on  Wed Jun 14, 2006  at  05:16 AM
oh my god, that is truly a huge jelly fish. I seen one once at epcot in florida but it was like half a foot wide and i thought that was huge until i saw this... That's something you see in spongebob or something, damn thats huge
Posted by Anthony  on  Mon Jun 26, 2006  at  10:31 AM
Ok, looking at both pictures... they're both fake. The one with the diver is a photoshop. Decent, but not great. The one without the diver is also a photoshop (and not a very good one, either)- to take *out* the diver.

The skinny:
The lion's mane jellyfish is the largest cnidaria (jellyfish) species, with some attaining a bell diameter of 2.5 m (8 feet) and tentacles as long as 30 m (100 feet) or more.

A cnidaria twice that size would make headlines. The largest catfish (found in Thailand) made news.. and that was just a big ol fish!

If you want a more realistic picture, which is honestly more impressive to me since it IS real, check out the Times Online at,,25689-1910322,00.html
Posted by jem  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  05:08 PM
I agree witht he person who said that both are photoshopped. You can tell if you save the pictures and zoom in on the one without the man. The tentacles are missing, part of the area to the left is cloudy. The one with the man was two pictures merged, then he was photoshopped or painted out in the other one.
Posted by Sheanean  on  Tue Mar 20, 2007  at  10:04 AM
I looked up the picture link that was posted just before my last one. That one is real. It looks like it may be around to 8 feet in width, where the fake looks like it would have to be 12 feet or more in width.
Posted by Sheanean  on  Tue Mar 20, 2007  at  10:08 AM
Take a look at page 44 of the September 2007 issue of Discover Magazine. The Jellyfish is called Nemopilema nomurai and it can weigh more than 300 pounds.

Ta ta,

Posted by Nickleye  on  Sun Aug 12, 2007  at  06:10 PM
I'm currently studying biology and working in an aquatic biology lab at Northern Arizona University. From a zoological standpoint, there's nothing that says a jellyfish can't be that big. Supposedly, the largest medusa recorded are around two meters in diameter. However, many larger animals live far into the open ocean or at great depths and only ocassionally drift into areas where humans live. There are many precidents for super-sized animal only recently being discovered. In 2003, a new squid, the giant cranch squid, also known as the colossal squid was discovered (a few immature specimines were known prior to this, but no one knew how big it could be). It is larger than the giant squid. So it's not like it would be unusal to find a sea creature of this size.

That's not to say it's not a hoax, just that you really can't prove it one way or another from a biology standpoint. You'd have to look for signs of photo-manipulation.
Posted by Robert B  on  Tue Sep 11, 2007  at  02:23 PM
it may be fake but it looks good
Posted by fay12  on  Tue Sep 25, 2007  at  07:29 AM
i htink its a photo shop but global warming could do that
Posted by jfk  on  Wed Sep 26, 2007  at  12:31 PM
That jelly fish IS real because the biggest jellyfish mankind has ever seen is 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Posted by Patricia  on  Sun Oct 07, 2007  at  08:54 PM
The tentacles are so adobe photoshoped.
Posted by Kim  on  Tue Oct 09, 2007  at  05:41 PM
I agree with Robert B. As an honours student presently working on gelatinous zooplankton. To determine whether the photo is fake is not a biological question. For everyones interest I will add that jellies are on the rise in many places around the world and in some scientific literature increases in biomass in the past 20yrs has been linked to overfishing, eutrophication and climate change (temperature warming). The biggest problem with studying jellyfish is catching them. Given that their bodies lack any solid structure most attempts to catch and preserve larger specimens end with the destruction of the jelly.


Posted by Sam S  on  Thu Oct 11, 2007  at  08:43 PM
it looks to fake there's a chunk of the jellyfish taken out where the diver was so it has to be photoshopped
Posted by kayla  on  Sat Nov 17, 2007  at  05:50 AM
I think that it is definitely fake!
Posted by Natalie  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  05:36 PM
umm... that looks really fake or there wouldn't be a such thing called sea animals. the "giant" jellyfish would be ruling the sea
Posted by poop  on  Thu Jan 17, 2008  at  04:43 PM
I'm sure that something this big would be a huge deal to everyone. Why is it not then? well... 😊
Posted by jeeza  on  Sun Jan 20, 2008  at  10:15 AM
holly shit some wired alien thing thats fucking massive
Posted by jack  on  Mon Mar 24, 2008  at  07:07 PM
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