Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - The Coolest Jellyfish in the Ocean
Friday, 29 June 2018 16:58

The Coolest Jellyfish in the Ocean Featured

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Immortal Jellyfish Immortal Jellyfish

 

Not something that too many divers want to get up close and personal with, jellyfish have a bad reputation for being annoying, stingy little blighters whose only job in life is to float around and ruin people's holidays whenever they see fit. However, on closer inspection there's really nothing so darn weird and alien-like as these underwater creatures, and here i'd like to introduce you to what I believe are the coolest ones out there:

 

Immortal Jellyfish 438x205

The Immortal Jellyfish

Hands-down winner not just for the super-cool name, but due to the fact that it could possibly live forever. If that doesn’t make you the hippest jelly on the planet than I don’t know what does!

The Immortal Jellyfish is actually a group of jellyfish, with two species being of particular interest here: turritopsis nutricula (which is found in the Atlantic Ocean) and turritopsis dohrnii (which can be found in Japan). So how the hell is it immortal?

Imagine your life, lived long and full, and just as you were starting to get a bit old and decrepit you decide to simply restart, and go back to the baby version of yourself. Sounds like the type of thing that would get you the number one spot on a list of cool jellyfish right? Exactly. The Immortal Jellyfish has the ability to reverse its own aging, and can return to a polyp or juvenile state. This means theoretically it can live forever, and the only known way they can die is disease, or if they get eaten by another jealous jellyfish.

 darth vader jellyfish

Darth Vader Jellyfish

First discovered in 2010, this kiwi-fruit sized ball of wobbling evil only has four tentacles (lightsabres) and lives in the deep waters off Antarctica. Named due to the obvious similarity to Darth Vader's helmet, athykorus bouilloni lives over 1000 metres under the sea.

Hilariously (for those with a childish sense of humour) it is actually the only species in the genus Bathykorus, which comes from the Greek words for ‘deep’ and ‘helmet’. Insert your own willy-gags here readers!

 

 

 

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Black Sea Nettle

Another marvelous creature of the deep, the black sea nettle (chrysaora achlyos) can be found in the deep water of the Pacific Ocean, and has a bell that can reach a metre long making it a veritable giant amongst jellies. As well as having a huge bell its arms can be up to 6 metres feet long and its stinging tentacles almost 8 metres – not something I’d like to bump into on a night dive.

Though enormous, the species is relatively new to science and not well known – they weren’t actually an ‘official’ species until 1997, and the largest invertebrate to have been described in the 20th century! Apart from a few massive blooms of these amazing blobs of jelly in recent history (in particular in 1989, 1999 and 2010 in Baja and Southern California) there’s a lot of mystery behind the black sea nettles, and where they like to gather is still very much unknown to us as yet.

There have been a few surface blooms of black sea nettles, with the invertebrate giants appearing in large numbers in 1989, 1999 and 2010 but other than these bloom where black sea nettles hang out and what they're up to is still a bit of a mystery.

 

 

fried egg

Fried Egg Jellyfish

It’s easy to see why cotylorhiza tuberculata is better known as the fried egg jellyfish. Also called the ‘Mediterranean jellyfish’ due to where it is commonly found, the bell of the jellyfish is surrounded by a lighter ring, and seen from a certain angle they look very much like a delicious breakfast treat!

The beautiful species can reach 40cm in diameter, and survives for only about six months, from summer to winter, dying when the water cools down. Like many jellies out there, juvenile fish like to hide inside the fried egg jellyfish’s tentacles for protection and it’s not unusual to find crabs on its bell (tee-hee)!

 

 

 

 

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