Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just a bit of jellyfishing

Hi there everybody, I do hope you have been having a great Wednesday.

This post comes to you at the end of my day.  I'm getting into that Wednesday concept of highlighting those things which make me happy.

I'm selecting just one thing which scares me, but which I love the look of...Jellyfish. 

I remember when I was nine years old an old portuguese man of war had washed up on a seaside beach in Cornwall and was causing a crowd on the shoreline. It was huge with tendrils that dragged through the sand to the sea edge. This jellyfish was larger than a beach ball with deep blue tinges within - highly toxic it would have caused quite a sting.

Living in australia gives more cause for concern as our waters are home to some of the most deadly jellyfish. The coast of New South Wales gets away lightly; its only in summer when the warm water currents come down from Queensland and on a windy day when its a North Westerly we get an influx of blue bottles.  That means swimming is off as the tide is awash with the nasty stingers.

Its not the blue bottles or portuguese men of war that interest me - it's this type below. When illustrated or as an early marine life illustration I am a sucker for the things.

These beautiful illustrations are from Cabinet of Treasuries on etsy. This engraving shows a marvellous piece from illustrator Ernst Haeckel. Jellyfish, also known as jellies or sea jellies are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. They have several different morphologies that represent several different cnidarian classes including the Scyphozoa, Staurozoa, Cubozoa, and Hydrozoa. The jellyfish in these groups are also called, respectively, scyphomedusae, stauromedusae, cubomedusae, and hydromedusae; medusa is another word for jellyfish.

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. From the tropical waters to the polar oceans. Some hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusae, are also found in fresh water and are less than half an inch in size. They are partially white and clear and do not sting. 

It came as a great surprise to me when I was on holiday with my family last year in Cairns that most people don't dip in the ocean there. The next little jellies are from Old Timers Club.
Firstly there are crocodiles in the water.

Secondly nearly every jellyfish you'll encounter is poisonous, very poisonous.

Maybe that's why I like to look at these creatures from a safe distance.

For me nothing beats an illustration of these delicate yet possibly deadly jellyfish that when seen on a black drop to me it suggests the depths of the ocean.

What do you have in your What makes you happy spot?"

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