Incredible images show entire “paralysed” fish clearly visible inside the body of a jellyfish

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INCREDIBLE images show an entire “paralysed” fish clearly visible inside the body of a compass jellyfish.

Amateur photographer Ian Watkin, 52, captured the rare images while out walking his dog at Harlyn Bay in Padstow, Cornwall yesterday morning.

The jellyfish was snapped washed up on the beach with an unfortunate fish, believed to be a sprat, trapped inside its transparent body.

The Compass jellyfish - UK Nature News
The jellyfish engulfed the fish.                                            (C) Ian Watkin

The eight inch invertebrate was found laid in a perfect circle on the sand while the silver fish appears around five inches in length.

Wildlife conservationists described the image as possibly being “the most extraordinary find” of this week.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust shared Ian’s images yesterday, writing: “Often jellyfish are used as nurseries by juvenile fish as they hide amongst their tentacles for protection from predators. 

“Unfortunately, this one seems to have been stung and became lunch for the compass.

“Just look at how it occupies almost the entire width of the jellyfish’s bell!”

“The most extraordinary find of National Marine Week?”

The post has since attracted over 800 likes and hundreds of comments from impressed followers. 

The Cornwall beach - UK Nature News
Harlyn Bay where the image was taken. (C) Ian Watkin

Julie MacDonald said: “What a find! I see some beauties both swimming and washed up but never with lunch.”

Anthony Fox wrote: “Quite well endowed if that’s the size of his bell!”

Amy Hilborn said: “Wow, that’s really fascinating.” 

And Louise Trevelyan added: “Wow!”

Diver Ian, from Somerset, said he had never seen anything like it in 20 years of diving. 

He said: “I was quite surprised to see the fish so fresh, they sting their prey to paralyse it then they digest it. 

“I’ve not seen one like that before, plenty of compass jellyfish get washed up on the beach.

“As well as moon jellyfish and barrel jellyfish, the occasional Portuguese man of war and plenty of the smaller blue jellyfish.

“The Wildlife Trust said it was the most extraordinary find of National Marine Week.

“I’d probably already taken more than 50 photographs and was just walking back to the car and saw it.

“I’ve been a diver (divemaster) for over 20 years although I have not dived for a couple of years.

“So I have seen plenty of jellies, just never seen one with a whole fish obviously freshly caught.”

Jellyfish typically eat small plants, shrimp, or fish they use their tentacles to stun prey before eating it.

They do not actively seek out food but will capture plankton floats nearby.

However, they can propel themselves to attract food and have 4-8 oral arms to capture food from the tentacles and into their mouth.