Fun Barrel Jellyfish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 06, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Barrel jellyfish facts are enlightening.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Barrel jellyfish fall under the Rhizostomatidae family and are a type of marine species that don't possess a lung, heart, brain, or circulatory system. These jellyfish have four pairs of tentacles and they hang around in swarms. Some of these swarms land upon the coasts of many islands and beaches. For other types of coastal distribution, common places where these swarms have been seen are off the coast of the British Isles. Due to the large size of their domed cap, their heads are often referred to as dustbin lids, which has given them an alternative name of dustbin lid jellyfish. This species doesn't pose much of a threat to human beings as their sting is mostly harmless and does not lead to any severe reactions. The sting of the barrel jellyfish isn't particularly harmful to humans, but one should always be wary around jellyfish, even dead ones, as they might still sting. The biggest predator of the barrel jellyfish is the largest sea turtle in the world, the leatherback turtle.

If you would like to read more articles such as this one, you should check out jellyfish facts and freshwater mussels facts.

Barrel Jellyfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a barrel jellyfish?

Barrel jellyfish are a type of jellyfish commonly called the Rhizostoma pulmo, dustbin lid jellyfish, or even the frilly-mouthed jellyfish. The second name is a result of them being able to grow to as big as dustbin lids. They can be commonly found drifting off the British coast or near the shores surrounding the British Isles.

What class of animal does a barrel jellyfish belong to?

The barrel jellyfish belongs to the Scyphozoa class of marine creatures.

How many barrel jellyfish are there in the world?

Currently, there isn't a verifiable estimate of how many living barrel jellyfish there are in the world. Therefore, it isn't possible to give a specific number in response to how many barrel jellyfish there are currently present. However, there have been many barrel jellyfish sightings in the last couple of years, especially in the UK, with researchers sighting more than 100 at one time. There was also a report of a giant jellyfish near the coast of Cornwall.

Where does a barrel jellyfish live?

There are many areas and regions of the world where jellyfish reside. Some of them include parts of the Atlantic Ocean, near the west and south coast of the UK, as well as in the Adriatic Sea, Black Sea, and the Irish Sea. Some other places that jellyfish swarm include the Mediterranean Sea and the South African coast

What is a barrel jellyfish habitat?

Barrell jellyfish live in the deeper end of the ocean, especially when the temperature is more frigid. These jellyfish swarms don't typically have a specific spot as most of the time they keep swimming freely in the waters without any specific intentions. During the warmer months, heading towards spring and the summer, they start swimming inland in order to breed in shallow waters.

Who do barrel jellyfish live with?

Barrel jellyfish stay together in groups or packs instead of separating as individual entities. These creatures are often sighted in groups during the warm summer months when they come inland to breed.

How long does a barrel jellyfish live?

There isn't verifiable data that specifies how long barrel jellyfish live or how extensive their lifespan is on average. The average lifespan of a normal jellyfish is around twelve to eighteen months; however, some species of jellyfish have even been recorded living as long as 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

In the adult stage or the medusa stage, jellyfish can simple reproduce by releasing eggs and sperm into the water. Once they develop into polyps, asexual reproduction occurs, and they go on to become ephyra, which then finally forms into an adult medusa.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List has not enlisted the barrel jellyfish as a species in their directory. Therefore, we cannot ascertain their conservation status.

Barrel Jellyfish Fun Facts

What do barrel jellyfish look like?

Barrel Jellyfish

The barrel jellyfish is solid as well as opaque in color, and they can be found in a variety of colors such as blue, pink, red, white, and reddish-brown. They have eight long arms that extend from their surface and have cauliflower-shaped tentacles attached. While males who have matured have blue genitals, females have reddish-brown genitals. According to the statistics bell curve, their weight and size are proportional to their diameter.

How cute are they?

This jellyfish species is pretty cute. They can be found in a multitude of different colors such as pink, blue, red, or brown, and they are fascinating creatures to watch. They can be described as beautiful, and many people can see them in aquariums, where they'll be able to witness their fluorescent bodies and tiny tentacles.

How do they communicate?

Since barrel jellyfish do not have a brain, a heart, or a circulatory system, their methods of communication are limited. From the data we have, we can only ascertain a couple of things. Primarily, that their communication methods are not complex, and secondly, they probably communicate through lights and the lighting around them, their sense organs, and impulses and stimuli.

How big is a barrel jellyfish?

The diameter of their surface generally extends somewhere from 23.6 to 59 in (60-150cm). In terms of weight, these jellyfish can weigh anywhere between 55 to 77 lb (25-35kg). The violet fringe that surrounds the bell contains its sense organs. They are around four times shorter than a giant squid.

How fast can a barrel jellyfish swim?

Some researchers have found that barrel jellyfish are strong swimmers. Most believe them to be drifters whose direction and speed are decided by the tides and water currents they are present in.

How much does a barrel jellyfish weigh?

In terms of their weight, an adult barrel jellyfish can weigh anywhere between 55 to 77lb (25-35kg). They have large arms and tentacles, and the species is commonly sighted by many people near the UK.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There aren't any sex-specific terms used to differentiate between male and female barrel jellyfish.

What would you call a baby barrel jellyfish?

Barrel jellyfish go through several developmental stages. During the earlier stages, they're referred to as polyps, whereas in the later stages, they might be called ephyra.

What do they eat?

Barrel jellyfish sustain themselves on a diet of plankton as well as small fish. They can be described as carnivores as they utilize their arms and tentacles to trap plankton and other small fish before eating them up.

Are they poisonous?

The sting of a barrel jellyfish might hurt a little, and one might feel a little irritation, but overall their sting isn't poisonous and is mild in nature.

Would they make a good pet?

It is really not advised that one keep these invertebrates as pets since their natural habitat is in deeper waters present in the ocean or in coastal waters. In terms of upkeep, it would also be hard to make sure that these jellyfish stay healthy and safe without the proper infrastructure and setup. Instead of keeping them as pets, an easier way to see them often would be to go to an aquarium that houses these invertebrates.

Did you know...

A group of them is also referred to as a flutter of jellyfish or a smack of jellyfish.

Does a barrel jellyfish sting you?

The sting of a barrel jellyfish is very mild. Even if you get stung, in most cases, you will not feel anything after the first couple of minutes. Humans shouldn't touch barrel jellyfish in the ocean or even when they're dead because their tentacles can still end up stinging even after they're dead. They land upon many coasts, such as along the British coasts, so it is extremely important to keep children away from their tentacles.

What happens if you cut a jellyfish in half?

If you cut a jellyfish in half, they can sometimes regenerate into two new jellyfish. Unlike humans, they are known to regenerate some of their lost body parts and limbs, such as arms and tentacles. This does not apply if they're completely devoured by a predator, such as a sea turtle.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other scyphozoan including immortal jellyfish facts and moon jellyfish facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable barrel jellyfish coloring pages.

Barrel Jellyfish Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

100 (average for the species)

How Much Did They Weigh?

55-77lb (25-35kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?

adriatic sea, black sea, irish sea, mediterranean sea, south african coast

How Long Were They?

23.6-59in (60-150cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Rhizostoma pulmo

What Do They Look Like?

Yellow, Blue, Pink, Brown, Pale White, Reddish-Brown

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

leatherback turtles, sharks, fish, penguins

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Listed
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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