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Rare purple creature washed up on Australian beaches

The most likely odd creature is the Crown Jellyfish, a large, multifaceted jellyfish that can eat algae, shrimp, and animal eggs.

Jodie Clowes posted on social media a photo of a purple creature with a washed-out arched body at the beach in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia on December 15. While some compliment the strange creature’s beauty, others fear that it is dangerous.

The vibrant purple color is also controversial. “It is the result of marine biodiversity. This beautiful creature has a red mother and a blue father,” Cody Prasser commented humorously. Another woman said it was the result of chemicals spilled on the beach.

The creature could be a crown jellyfish or a cauliflower jellyfish (Cephea cephea), says Julian Uribe-Palomino, a plankton researcher at the Australian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO). However, the only way to be sure is to go in person.

The crown jellyfish is a large purple green jellyfish, about 50 to 60 cm in diameter. They have a shape reminiscent of a crown, below radiate 8 long “arms” and about 30 thin filaments with pitting. However, they are not dangerous for humans.

The crown jellyfish feed on plankton, algae, shrimp and invertebrates. These jellyfish rarely drift on land.

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