Seven-year-old Max Saunderson gave his mum Jennifer a fit a shivers when he found a giant jelly fish on New Brighton beach. . .and wanted to take it home.

Max loves to walk on the foreshore looking for starfish and crabs to "rescue" by putting them back into the Mersey. But when he pleaded with Jennifer to take the jellyfish home and keep it, she had to suppress a shudder and decline.

She disclosed: "Max was not the least frightened by it - although he was aware that it could sting him if he touched it. He was more intrigued by and actually wanted to bring it home and put it in the bath."

They discovered the jellyfish, along with half a dozen smaller ones, washed up alongside Fort Perch Rock on Sunday.

Jennifer, who lives in New Brighton, said: "We've seen lots of them on the beach but nothing apporaching this size. Max was just amazed."

Mount Primary School pupil Max has his sights fixed on becoming a lifeguard when he grows up. Even his choice of pet reflects his passion for the water - a goldfish called Doh.

Marine biologist Professor Chris Frid, from the School of Environmental Sciences at Liverpool University, identified the jelly fish as rhizostoma pulmo - sometimes called the barrel or football jellyfish.

He said it was fairly common in the Irish Sea and western parts of the UK and was Britain's biggest species of jellyfish, sometimes measuring two metres across.

Professor Frid commented: "Like all jellyfish it is equipped with stinging cells but it is generally regarded innocuous as the stings are so weak as to be undetectable to most people.

"However they may cause a reaction on areas of irritated or sensitive skin and like all animal stings some individuals will be more sensitive than others."

The jellyfish feed on microscopic animals that float in the surface layers of seas and oceans.