Who would have believed it would ever be seen again?
Chirodectes macrodectes Before the new footage was released, it had only been viewed and discussed once. Scuba Ventures Kavieng is the photographer. Unprecedented sighting of a Chirodectes maculatus, a genus of extremely rare box jellyfish, is captured in new video taken by Scuba Ventures in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. This is one of the rarest animal sightings ever recorded.
The exceedingly unusual animal had only been seen before, on May 2, 1997, along the Great Barrier Reef’s outer border, around 43 kilometers (27 miles) off the coast of northeast Queensland. It was discovered 5 meters (16 feet) below the surface, and the biologists who first described it thought that Cyclone Justin might have moved it there.
On Scuba Ventures’ Facebook page, the beautiful video was posted with the caption:
“I saw a new kind of jellyfish today while diving. They swim fairly quickly, have amazing markings, and are a little bigger than a soccer ball.
It’s interesting to note that specimen was almost half the size of this one, with a bell that was about 150 mm tall, or 5.9 inches. Additionally, as one reader pointed out, the marks on this specimen from Papua-New Guinea are rings rather than filled-out dots of orange-brown color like those on the specimen from Australia published.
Since it “failed either to sting, or cling to, the hand and forearm of an incautious volunteer” during the examination in 1997, there are no known instances of Chirodectes stinging humans. However, Chirodectes is thought to be venomous due to its very huge size and the exceedingly venomous nature of some chirodropids.