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‘Magnificent’ new species of jellyfish found off coast of Papua New Guinea

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Published on 08 Aug 2022 / In News & Politics

A diver exploring the coast of Papua New Guinea has taken a video of what one researcher believes is a newly discovered species of jellyfish. Dorian Borcherds, the owner of a local scuba diving business, sent the footage to his daughter, who uploaded it to the Jellyfish app. She probably didn’t expect Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, who runs the app, to immediately phone her. ‘I was complete gobsmacked when they sent me through the photos,’ Dr Gershwin said. ‘I thought, oh my God, what is this thing and where is it?’

‘This thing’ was initially thought to be a Chirodectes maculatus, an extremely rare jellyfish only ever encountered once, in 1997. However, closer ‘frame by frame’ inspection of the video changed her mind. ‘I concluded that the one filmed off Papua New Guinea is a new undiscovered species,’ Dr Gershwin said. She is, however, taking her time before submitting her findings for publication. ‘I want to be more than right, I'm crossing every t and dotting every i… On top of that, we still have the mystery of where did the Great Barrier Reef specimen come from?’ she said.

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