Mysterious glowing ‘alien-like creature’ spotted in waters of Bristol Harbour. A jellyfish - or something fishy?

Sighting has divided experts, who say it could be a jellyfish, marine salp – or simply a prank

Is it a jellyfish, or a light installation? Perhaps something fishy is going on. A mysterious video has emerged on YouTube from Tuesday night which appears to show a glowing “alien-like creature” floating in the waters of Bristol Harbour.

The footage has been viewed thousands of times and caused a stir on Twitter and Facebook – and even the experts cannot agree on what it is that uploader John Tombe has captured on camera.

Andrew Spooner, an IT professional living in Bristol, witnessed the “creature” and tweeted a picture, describing it as “some weird craziness swimming around in #bristol harbour. Looks alien…”

The squid-like being flashed brightly in the darkness for around half a minute, witnesses said, before disappearing – and has left experts at odds over what could have happened.

Dr Steve Simpson, from the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University, saw the footage and told the Bristol Post: “It's very intriguing - I don't really know what to make of it.

“There is a possibility that it is a special type of jellyfish or a marine salp. It's very unusual and I haven't really seen anything like it before though.

“What makes it even more unusual is that fact that it showed up in the middle of a really busy area.

“There are various marine animals that have biological illuminating abilities and they are able to make themselves flash.

”It is entirely possible that it is a marine creature which has been brought into the harbour because of the storms or maybe it was trying to shelter from the stormy seas.”

He nonetheless admitted the possibility that the mysterious object in the water could have been the work of an inventive prankster, saying it was “either a very interesting animal or someone's very cool interpretation of a marine creature”.

Daniel De Castro, the curator of the Bristol Aquarium, was less willing to humour the idea that the “creature” could be something from the deep – let alone from another planet.

He told BBC Bristol: “I don’t think it’s alive, really. It would be very unlikely for a jellyfish to arrive in Harbourside alive in one piece.

“I’ve seen the pictures and I think it must be entirely artificial. It’s really clever the way they’ve done it, there could be a jellyfish that big in the world – but not like that, and not here. The water here is not good enough quality for them.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn