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Sherman Pike, Jr.
Oliver Pike with his new friend.
Oliver Pike thought it was a monster. When it started moving, the 7-year-old adjusted his hypothesis:

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HELP!!!!! I'm Suffocating Under This Absurdly Large Jellyfish!!!!!

jellyfish_boy.JPG
Sherman Pike, Jr.
Oliver Pike with his new friend.
Oliver Pike thought it was a monster. When it started moving, the 7-year-old adjusted his hypothesis: It must be an alien.

Eventually, with the help of the Internet, Oliver and his dad, Sherman Pike, Jr., would correctly identify the large, slimy, pink-and-orange, somewhat circular beast they discovered at Kayak Point last Thursday as a lion's mane jellyfish. A dead one. So why was it moving?

First, in case you doubt us, check out the video the elder Pike posted on YouTube yesterday. (Jump ahead 25 seconds if you're impatient.)

See what we mean? Totally moving.

"That was actually the reason I started filming," says Pike. "Because I couldn't tell what it was."

So what was it? "I think it was a crab," he says. As in, a crab stuck underneath the giant jellyfish, doing its best, presumably, to free itself.

But he isn't sure. The Pikes did the smart thing and didn't touch the deceased beast. Jellyfish, it is worth knowing, continue to sting even after they die. (Which means it most likely really sucked to be that presumed crab.)

Not long after the Pikes got home came the media onslaught. To be fair, it was discoverers who sent the video to two local TV stations, Q13 and KIRO 7, who both did stories. Soon thereafter, CNN was calling, and NBC Universal. Pike's mother-in-law called this morning to say they'd been featured on Today.

"Apparently Matt Lauer mentioned us," says Pike. "It's pretty crazy."

As for the lion's mane jellyfish, it turns out they are known to grow very large. They are pelagic, meaning they typically stay in the deep sea, but often come to shore to die. Kind of like whales, we suppose.

Here are some photos that Pike took, via YouTube:

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Sherman Pike, Jr.
Slimy!

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Sherman Pike, Jr.
Tentacular!

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Sherman Pike, Jr.
Crabby, most likely!

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Sherman Pike, Jr.
The whole shebang!

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Sherman Pike, Jr.
The jellyfish, with child!

As for a takeaway, Pike offers a good one:

"The whole reason we were down there was for the negative tide. We were tide-pooling, just goofing off," he says. "It definitely encourages going outside and exploring because you never know what you're going to find."

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