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Divers Spot Rare Human-Sized Jellyfish, and It's Hauntingly Beautiful

You don't have to be a marine biologist or have even spent much time in the ocean to know to steer clear of any jellyfish you see flapping around in the waves...

You don't have to be a marine biologist to know to steer clear of any jellyfish you see flapping around in the waves. Many of them sting, and it's not exactly the sort of sensation that pairs well with a hot day at the beach. So, imagine coming across the behemoth specimen about the size of a human that was recently spotted by divers off the coast of the United Kingdom.

While exploring the waters off the southwestern coast of England, BBC host and biologist Lizzie Daly spotted something truly remarkable in her midst: an enormous barrel jellyfish. Fortunately, her photographer was right there to capture the whole thing (shown above), and it's pretty astonishing once you register how big it is when she swims up next to it. 

The creatures, which are known to float in the waters off the area of Cornwall where they were, are typically quite large in size. However, this one -- the size of Daly herself -- is much, much bigger than average. They typically grow up to about 3.2 feet long and weigh up to 55 pounds, according to CNN. It's quite clear this frilly dude is off the charts on both counts. Understandably, Daly was stunned, but in a good way. 

"What an unforgettable experience," she said in a video about the encounter, which occurred during a week-long expedition she undertook to raise awareness for UK wildlife. "I know barrel jellyfish get really big in size, but I have never seen anything like it before! It was the best thing I've ever done."

Although barrel jellyfish are massive, they don't pose much of a threat to humans since they have a mild sting, according to Daly. That's why shel felt comfortable swimming alongside it for roughly an hour after spotting it. 

Still, no matter how beautiful it may be up close, we hate to admit we'd probably hightail it straight back to our towel on the beach if we'd clocked a similarly massive pulsating blob underfoot. 

Though unlike these grotesque underwater beasts, at least this sea creature isn't going to haunt our nightmares.

h/tCNN, CBS News

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.