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Scuba Divers Spot Incredibly Rare and Beautiful Jellyfish Only Once Before Seen

Scuba Ventures captured one of the world’s rarest animal encounters at Kavieng, Papua New Guinea, including a Chirodectes maculatus, an exceptionally rare genus of box jellyfish that had only been seen once before.

Scuba Ventures’ Facebook page posted the breathtaking video with the caption:

“I saw a new variety of jellyfish today while diving. It has nice patterns and is little larger than a soccer ball, and they swim fairly rapidly.”

Chirodectes maculatus. It was only seen and described once before the new footage surfaced. Image credit: Scuba Ventures Kavieng

Previously, on 2 May 1997, the highly uncommon species was spotted on the outside border of the Great Barrier Reef, some 43 km (27 mi) off the coast of northeast Queensland. It was discovered just 5 meters (16 feet) of the surface, and the scientists who discovered it suspected that Cyclone Justin had transferred it to the location.

Interestingly, that specimen was around half the size of this one, with a bell height of approximately 150 mm or 5.9 inches. Also, as one reader pointed out, the markings on this specimen from Papua-New Guinea are rings, but the markings on the specimen from Australia published are full out spots of orange-brown hue.

Credit: Scuba Ventures Kavieng

There are no documented occurrences of Chirodectes stinging humans since it “failed either to sting or cling to the hand and forearm of an untrustworthy volunteer” during the 1997 test. Nonetheless, due of its very big size and the exceedingly deadly character of some chirodropids, Chirodectes is thought to be venomous.

So, a poisonous beauty.

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