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Giant new species of lethal jellyfish discovered in Australian waters

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Keesingia gigas are gargantuan members of the Irukandji jellyfish family

Scientists have discovered a new venomous creature in the waters off Western Australia's coast, according to The Guardian. Named after the scientist who captured the first-known specimen, the arm-long Keesingia gigas is an enormous member of the extremely venomous Irukandji jellyfish family. The tiny box jellyfish normally measure about a cubic centimetre (less than 0.1 cubic inch), and are infamous for being able to cause the eponymous Irukandji syndrome, which if untreated can lead to cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.

The Guardian reports that there is something unusual about the potentially dangerous Keesingia gigas: every photograph and specimen that has been found lack the signature tentacles. Marine Stinger Advisory Services director Lisa-ann Gershwin believes it might be purely coincidental. "I think more probably it does have tentacles but by random chance the specimens that we photographed and obtained don’t have them any more," she says, after positing that the Keesingia gigas might be capable of shedding its extremities in self-defense.