'Breathtaking' jellyfish as big as a human spotted by divers

Ryan W. Miller

A jellyfish apparently the size of a human was spotted off the coast of southwest England, and a stunning video shows the marine creature swimming by divers.

The giant barrel jellyfish was found swimming Saturday near Falmouth when Lizzie Daly, a biologist and ambassador for the United Kingdom's Marine Conservation Society, and underwater cameraman Dan Abbott were diving.

The two were finishing up their expedition, Wild Ocean Week, an effort to raise awareness and money for the conservation group when the jellyfish appeared.

"It was breathtaking," Daly told USA TODAY. "We had been diving for about half an hour, and out of the murky water was this single enormous jellyfish."

Daly said she and Abbott swam with the marine creature for about an hour.

While seeing these jellyfish off Cornwall's coast is not uncommon during the summer months as waters warm in the area, Daly said she had never swam with one this large. She estimates it was almost 5 feet long, about as tall as she is.

"It was very humbling to be swimming alongside of it," she said. The animal isn't a threat to humans and has only a mild sting, she added. "It was just a pretty majestic creature."