Tuesday, 7 June 2016

DIVING WITH JELLYFISH

Following on from last week's post on Burma which featured harvested jellyfish I thought these beautiful and sometimes deadly creatures deserved their own post.


Thailand


I've seen jellyfish on numerous occasions when scuba diving. Boys like the one above are a delight - not least because they're easy to spot and therefore easy to avoid. We found this one as we ascended at the end of a dive.


Jamaica


Jellyfish are made up of 95% water.










They have been around for 500 million years. They have no need for internal organs as we know them: no brains, stomach, intestines, lungs.












Jellyfish are carnivorous and larger specimens will eat small fish.

Either the fish here didn't know they were dicing with death - or they knew something I didn't.




There are many species of jellyfish. My research has come up with wildly varying figures!
















The jellyfish I've seen when diving have always been in mid water or very near the surface. 

I've been mildly stung by jellyfish a couple of times. The culprits each time have been tiny, transparent ones that I haven't spotted when surfacing after a dive. I prefer to wear a full length wetsuit when I scuba dive. 

Jellyfish washed up on beach in West Cork


Most people believe that the Box Jellyfish is the deadliest. In fact the Irukandji Jellyfish is more deadly. 

Some beaches in Queensland are netted to allow people to swim during 'jellyfish season' - i.e. when they bloom and congregate close to the shore. However, Irukandji jellyfish are so tiny (fingernail sized) I wouldn't trust the nets and would never risk swimming in jelly infested waters.

A Queensland Beach


Jellyfish are beautiful creatures. If I see any when I'm diving I always enjoy watching them... from a safe distance.


Do you like jellyfish? Have you ever had a close encounter with one? 








36 comments:

  1. They're weird and sometimes beautiful creatures. Wouldn't like to be anywhere near those huge ones though.

    Have seen loads washed up in Scotland. Seemed to be thousands of them.

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    1. Yes, apparently jellyfish are proliferating, Patsy. It's a pity the Scots aren't interested in harvesting the bounty like the Burmese and other Asian countries!

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  2. I've been mildly stung by some over the years, but I couldn't tell you what kind. Very small, and as I said, the stings were mild.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you've only had mild stings. I'd liken mine to being similar to stinging nettles - not nice, but not too awful.

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  3. No guts, no brains? Reminds me of politicians -- who are also dangerous as well! :-)

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    1. Now there's a comparison I hadn't thought of, Roland! :)

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  4. As always, gorgeous pictures. They are beautiful creatures. I have been stung before. Ouch!

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  5. Poor you, Sandra. They are beautiful though, aren't they? :)

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  6. Thankfully I have never been stung nor have I ever seen one unless it was on TV. My friend got stung when on vacation and her scar looked horrible. 2 years ago, my other friend was in Thailand and they went to a jellyfish spot to snorkel with them but he was told they were a certain jellyfish that are not poisonous. He did dive and swim with them but he was very wary he said. I can't remember the name of them. I think they are beautiful and I love your pictures. The one with the pink is just so pretty. The other one on the beach is also so neat looking

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  7. Thanks, Birgit - glad you've enjoyed this post. I think your friend was sensible. Although I enjoy seeing jellyfish when I'm diving, I always treat them with respect.

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  8. They look beautiful in the water, Susan, but I hate seeing them on a beach.

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    1. That photo of the jellyfish on my local beach was one of dozens of animals, Jo. There must have been a jellyfish bloom; I haven't seen the phenomenon since.

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  9. Having trodden on one or two and incurred their wrath, I'm not their greatest fan!

    My Wordless Wednesday /Linky

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  10. You do have to be careful around them... good to look at... good to eat (according to some), but not good to touch!

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  11. The closest I've been is seeing dead ones on the beach and I'm sorry, but that's the way I prefer them! What are those knobbly things in your first photo - fish?

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  12. Now then, Liz! I'm not sure what knobbly things you're referring to. The fish are the little blue and yellow jobbies... everything else is the jellyfish. :)

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  13. Very strange creatures, beautiful but another reason why I prefer to stay on dry land!

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  14. Yes, they are strange and beautiful - and another reason why I love being underwater! :)

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  15. You know, Susan, they may not appreciate you saying they have no brains:)

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  16. He he - if you're right, Sandra, I'd better watch myself next time I go diving!

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  17. I think there is something mysterious about them. One time I was staying on Matagorda Island. There was a tremendous lightning storm during the night and the next morning the beach was covered in dead Jelly fish.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

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    1. Wow, that must have been some storm, Kathleen!

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  18. You're a brave girl!! Some of those babies are big enough to swallow you! ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. I'd love to leave you thinking I'm brave - but perspective is everything and none of the jellyfish in the photos was larger than a football. :)

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  19. Susan the photos are extraordinary! I thought the Box jellyfish had the most dangerous medal hanging around it's neck. Thanks for letting me know there is something worse to watch for!
    When we were in Fiji a couple of months ago we went parasailing. During the ride the guide lowers you down to the water so your legs drag along and then you go sailing back in the air. As we were being lowered the ocean was full of jellyfish. Dave and I looked at each other and said "I hope these aren't poisonous"! We came away untouched but it was rather disconcerting at the time.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. The underwater ones are courtesy of my husband who uses me as his underwater 'model'! :)
      Hmm, I'm not sure I'd be too happy about being lowered into an ocean full of jellyfish either!

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  20. This is more my kind of jellyfish encounter :D Although I am always terrified of getting stung by one whenever we have been in the water. I've seen a few washed up on beaches, but that is the closest that I have come. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. I'm always very cautious when I see jellyfish - mainly because their tentacles can be very long and very hard to spot in the water.

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  21. I have heard they are dangerous, but yet they are beautiful. I loved the pictures here. Though I have never done Scuba diving yet, but would love to do them some day, and after this post, I would be careful to check if the water is infested with Irukandji jellyfish :)

    Srivi| The Piscean Me
    Wonderful post :)

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    1. Thanks, Srivi, glad you enjoyed the photos and don't worry - no dive centre would ever take divers into waters where Irukandji or Box jellyfish are blooming. :)

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  22. They are beautiful to look at but, I agree, from a distance. We get a few types up in Maine but I've actually never seen one up close. Your pictures are amazing.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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  23. Jellyfish seem very strange to me; more like plants than animals in some ways. I've never swum with them (and I'm not sure I'd want to!), but I've seen plenty in aquariums, where they seem quite popular, bobbing around like the wax in lava lamps. They can be mesmerising to watch.

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    1. They're very primitive, so yes, in many ways they're quite plant-like. :)

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