The Case of the Mysterious Jellyfish

By Aimee Whitcroft 17/11/2011

I love Wellington.

Credit: Dave Allen
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…

0 Responses to “The Case of the Mysterious Jellyfish”