British Columbia

Massive 'fried egg' jellyfish spotted in B.C.

A massive jellyfish spotted near Sechelt, B.C., that looks almost exactly like a fried egg has got social media buzzing.

'People don't realize how big they can get,' says Vancouver Aquarium specialist

This fried egg (or egg yolk) jellyfish was spotted off B.C.'s Sunshine Coast. (Donna Harrison)

A massive jellyfish spotted near Sechelt, B.C., that looks almost exactly like a fried egg has got social media buzzing.

Donna Harrison, who works as a kayak guide, spotted the jelly this week while on a tour in Porpoise Bay in Sechelt Inlet, off B.C.'s Sunshine Coast.

"I was paddling by and this big, giant yellow blob was there ... it was huge," Harrison said.

She snapped the viral photo, which was posted on a Sunshine Coast Facebook page and shared thousands of times.

Mackenzie Neale, a jellyfish specialist with the Vancouver Aquarium, says the jelly was likely a Phacellophora camtschatica, commonly known as a fried egg (or egg yolk) jellyfish.

"It's a perfect name for it because it really does look like a fried egg," Neale said.

The fried egg jellyfish in all its glory. (Submitted by Donna Harrison)

This type of jellyfish is found all along the Pacific coast, from Chile to Alaska, and can be spotted on B.C.'s coast during the summer.

Seeing one this big, however, is special.

"Some of the literature says that they get up to about 60 centimetres in diameter ... this one, from the looks of the picture, looks bigger than that," she said. 

"People don't realize how big they can get, and that just kind of increases the excitement about it."

Neale says the jellyfish feed on other jellies.

"When there's lots of food around they can grow quite quickly," she said. "They often get bigger than other jellies just because they can eat so much more."

Harrison, who spends a lot of time on the water, says she has seen other fried egg jellyfish in the area, but never one this big. 

"It was definitely a real healthy specimen with clear tentacles that went down quite far," she said. 

She says she's surprised by all the reaction it's been getting online. 

"Yes, it's my little two minutes of fame," she added, laughing.

With files from Ben Mussett

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