Environment and Ecology

The Case of the Mysterious Jellyfish

I love Wellington.

Jellyfish! Credit: Dave Allen

On fine days, I can cycle from from town around the bays to get to work, which is a lovely .  And last Friday was particularly exciting! In Evans Bay, only a meter or two from the pavement, a large jellyfish had come in to shore and was floating in the shallows.

And when I say big, I mean big.  Well, far bigger than the hand-sized jellyfish I’ve sometimes seen washed up on beaches – this one was closer to the size of my head.

After some excitement and beetling around, I contrived to have some (awesome) footage taken with a proper camera – the photos on my phone simply don’t do the jellyfish justice. I’m told that, subsequent to my leaving the scene, another jellyfish then came in, too, heading for first one.  Everyone left at the point, and we’re all choosing to believe jelly 2 was coming to show jelly 1 the way out, back to the group.  Anthropomorphism FTW :)

What then followed was interesting.  I spent some time online, trying to figure out it was – to no avail.  Thankfully, experts were able to do exactly that: our spotted jellyfish was a Desmonema gaudichaudi.  It’s from the same family as the Lion’s Mane jellyfish  and is one of three species that appear regularly in Wellington harbour each year.

Very exciting!  And beautiful to see something like that up close.  If you’re curious, there’s a video of it…


Oh, also? The new tv series of Sherlock Holmes is awesome.  I recommend it most highly :)


In other news, I came across this company while I was looking at jellyfish facts – they claim to have come up with a compound which protects one from sunburn _and_ jellyfish stings…

  • http://sci.waikato.ac.nz Alison

    lovely story :-)

    and – do you mean that there is a second series of the awesome Sherlock? Excellent!

  • http://scepticon.wordpress.com Darcy Cowan

    Alison there will be a second series of three episodes but it won’t air unitl next year.

  • http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/bioblog alison

    but it won’t air unitl next year

    are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there…

  • http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/ Grant Jacobs

    re Sherlock, there is something running on Sunday Theatre on TV1 this weekend; a re-run of the first series – ? (Which was excellent, by the way.)