A dead jellyfish that washed up on a beach in the United Kingdom recently reveals its last meal – a complete, surprised-looking fish – through its translucent guts, according to breathtaking images.
The jelly is a compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella), which gets its name from its brown, V-shaped patterns that resemble compass lines. The identity of the baby fish inside has yet to be determined.
According to The Daily Mail, local photographer Ian Watkin discovered the strange blob during a morning dog walk in Padstow in Cornwall on August 4. He said, “It’s not something you see every day.”
Jellyfish tentacles have been observed to provide shelter for juvenile fish.
According to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the protector turned predator for this fish, as specialists believe it was stung to death by the jelly and would have been slowly consumed in its primitive stomach, known as a coelenteron, if the jelly had not washed ashore.
“Often jellyfish are used as nurseries by juvenile fish as they hide amongst their tentacles for protection from predators,” Cornwall Wildlife Trust said in a Facebook post.
“Unfortunately, this one seems to have been stung and became lunch for the compass.”
Compass jellyfish can reach a diameter of 12 inches (30 cm) and can be found in British seas from May to October. According to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, they eat small fish and crabs, as well as other jellyfish, and their sting can be uncomfortable but not fatal to people.
The one-of-a-kind photograph was captured by chance during National Marine Week, a campaign organized by the Wildlife Trusts — a collection of regional conservation organizations in the United Kingdom – to raise awareness of the unique marine species that exists off the British coast.