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
  • Get to the point
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 Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Programmer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Bridgend based software de...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Printer

£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist retail and brand c...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence