Michael Winter, USA TODAY
Australian scientists are agog over a huge snotty blob that beachcombers found washed ashore in Tasmania -- a legendary but unclassified species of jellyfish.
The five-foot-long creature is one of three species of "snotties," the largest species of jellies and more regally known as lion's mane for their resemblance to the fur of the king of the mainland beasts.
Government scientist Lisa-ann Gershwin believes it's unique to the waters off southern Tasmania.
"It's a whopper. We do get large jellyfish, and this one just happened to be this absolutely enormous specimen," Gershwin, who has worked with jellies for 20 years,said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The elusive Tasmanian sea devils have been invading the island's beaches all of the down-under summer but scientists don't know why.
"Jellyfish do bloom as a normal part of their life cycle, but not usually this many," Gershwin told the Sydney Morning Herald. "There's something going on and we don't know what it is. To me, the real question is ... what impact are all of these mouths having on the ecosystem, and what in turn does that mean to us?"
The colossus was spotted and photographed by a family looking for shells on a beach at Howden, south of Hobart, the state capital.
"I kind of touched it," said 12-year-old Xavier Lim. "It was pretty cool."
How dangerous is this snotty if encountered in the water?
"It's not life-threatening, but it will sting you, it will wake you up," Gershwin said.