A COLCHESTER diver was left “awestruck” after capturing a picture of a huge barrel jellyfish that was ‘as big as him’ off the UK coast.
Dan Abbott, an underwater cinematographer, was filming marine life around the coast with biologist Lizzie Daly, host of BBC Earth, when they came across the jellyfish.
On the final leg of their tour of the British Isles, the duo were filming off the coast of Falmouth, Cornwall.
Dan was quick to take a picture of the mammoth stinger and with Lizzie alongside it to demonstrate just how big the jellyfish was.
Dan said the jellyfish was “about a metre and a half long, probably half a metre in width.”
The 32-year-old said: “It’s the biggest jellyfish I’ve ever seen, in some ways I was shocked but not in a negative way, more awestruck.
“It was an incredible animal, we both came out the water completely mind blown from that experience.”
Dan and Lizzie had spent a week travelling to marine life hotspots around the British isles on a trip called Wild Ocean Week.
They swam with grey seals off the Farne Islands, minke whales off the north west coast of Scotland, and seabirds off Wales.
They saw the huge barrel jellyfish on Saturday (July 13).
Dan added: “The thing that this whole week has been about is demonstrating that you don’t need to go to the other side of the world to see amazing marine wildlife, there’s plenty on our doorstep.
“It was myself and Lizzie Daly, that’s the person in the photo, we travelled all around the UK to various different marine hot spots.
“The final leg was in Cornwall where we went for a dive where we encountered the enormous barrel jellyfish.
“Cornwall was nice and warm for diving, and because of the jellyfish that was my favourite part but it’s all been good, each one has been very special.”
During their trip Dan and Lizzie raised money for the Marine Conservation Society.