Instead of swimming away from a barrel jellyfish that is larger than some humans and can sting you, underwater cinematographer Dan Abbot and wildlife biologist and presenter Lizzie Daly swam toward it, capturing the stunning photo.
The under-the-sea daredevils swam with the jellyfish for about an hour, they told VICE News’ Motherboard. The beast just “appeared out of the murky water” and was bigger than any other barrel jellyfish the two had ever seen.
Also known as the dustbin-lid jellyfish, the barrel jellyfish is the biggest jellyfish found off the coast of the United Kingdom. They can weigh up to 77 pounds and typically measure around three feet across, according to The Wildlife Trusts.
Encountering a barrel jellyfish like this is rare for humans. The only time most humans ever see one is when they wash up on the shore of a beach. Their 8-frilly tentacles, which are covered in many tiny mouths, can get you with a sting that is usually not very harmful.
“It really humbles you to be alongside an animal that size,” Daly said. “It’s an experience we’ll never forget.”