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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

Blue Bottle Jellyfish

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My wife and I went on a small evening walk along the Terrigal beach on Sunday night. It was low tide and the beach was covered in seaweed and blue bottles. This is aver common sight and we all know to avoid any contact with the long tentacles to avoid being burnt by their paralysing poison. What was unusual was the size of these Blue Bottles – the specimen in this photograph was close to 6 inches tall. Probably the biggest I have ever seen. Also, while the majority of them were just lying on the sand this one was erected upright and swayed it body towards anything that passed it by, in this case me.

Interestingly, the Blue Bottle Jellyfish is only called so in Australia and New Zealand, while rest of the world refers to the creature by Portuguese Man of War. I maybe partial here, but the jellyfish is not caring a passport, so why Portuguese, and it certainly does not resemble any man I’ve ever met.

  • Hassan Naqvi

    Nice Pic…

  • mogur

    Blue bottle refers to the species, Physalia utriculus. They also are called the Pacific Man of War. They are only found in the Indo-Pacific Oceans. They are small (about 4″), blue, and only have one very long retractable tentacle.

    Physalia physalis is the Portuguese Man of War found in most oceans of the world, much larger (about 12″), blue and pink, and have 7 or 8 very long retractable tentacles. Easy to tell apart, no need for a passport.

    Portuguese warships were called caravels, carracks, and galleons. None were called Man o’ Wars… only the English called their own ships that name. The helmet of a Portuguese ‘man of war’, however, is called a morion with a ridge comb that looks almost identical to the jellyfish. None of the square rigged or lateen rigged sailing ships from any country even resembles either species of jelly.

  • TAMMY

    WE TOOK PICS OF SIMILAR JELLYFISH IN PANAMA FLORIDA… THEY WERE APPROX. 7-8 INCHES LONG…ONLY THEY WERE BRIGHT BLUE AND HOT PINK… SHAPED THE SAME AS THIS ONE

  • Val

    There are two opinions of where the man-o-war got its name from. Some say early explorers thought its shape resembled the helmets of Portuguese soldiers. Others say it looks like an ancient Portuguese war ship with its sails at full. Either way it’s still Portuguese

  • Ahmed

    You know I was at Terrigal beach Sunday and got my first big blue bottle sting. It’s inspired me to look into these “special” creatures. The sting hurts for sure, this one wrapped right around my torso and arm. But what is worse is the itching that you get a day later. You may have seen the big red lines you get from the sting, but as they heal they look like mosquito bites – 100’s of them all joined together. That’s what they feel like too.

  • Barbara-nn

    Actually, we call these Blue Bottles in South Africa as well. I I myself have been stung many a time. This picture really gives a most beautifully vivid colour of a Blue Bottle.

  • Lainey

    It is referred to Portuguese Man-o-War because people believed it resembled a Portuguese battleship (man-o-war) of the time with a sail, it has nothing to do with an actual man 🙂

  • Tanase

    I believe it is refereed to as a Portuguese man of war as it is said to look like a Portuguese battle ship with a sail. 🙂

    awesome photo btw 🙂

  • John Hitchcock

    Can you see the face of a man in the blue bottle. It looks like he is tapping the fingers of his left hand on the sand, waiting for contact with an unsuspecting passerby.

  • thanks for this photo … it is facinating … I have never seen a blue bottle that big

  • Hassan Naqvi

    Nice Pic…

  • mogur

    Blue bottle refers to the species, Physalia utriculus. They also are called the Pacific Man of War. They are only found in the Indo-Pacific Oceans. They are small (about 4″), blue, and only have one very long retractable tentacle.

    Physalia physalis is the Portuguese Man of War found in most oceans of the world, much larger (about 12″), blue and pink, and have 7 or 8 very long retractable tentacles. Easy to tell apart, no need for a passport.

    Portuguese warships were called caravels, carracks, and galleons. None were called Man o’ Wars… only the English called their own ships that name. The helmet of a Portuguese ‘man of war’, however, is called a morion with a ridge comb that looks almost identical to the jellyfish. None of the square rigged or lateen rigged sailing ships from any country even resembles either species of jelly.

  • TAMMY

    WE TOOK PICS OF SIMILAR JELLYFISH IN PANAMA FLORIDA… THEY WERE APPROX. 7-8 INCHES LONG…ONLY THEY WERE BRIGHT BLUE AND HOT PINK… SHAPED THE SAME AS THIS ONE

  • Val

    There are two opinions of where the man-o-war got its name from. Some say early explorers thought its shape resembled the helmets of Portuguese soldiers. Others say it looks like an ancient Portuguese war ship with its sails at full. Either way it’s still Portuguese

  • Ahmed

    You know I was at Terrigal beach Sunday and got my first big blue bottle sting. It’s inspired me to look into these “special” creatures. The sting hurts for sure, this one wrapped right around my torso and arm. But what is worse is the itching that you get a day later. You may have seen the big red lines you get from the sting, but as they heal they look like mosquito bites – 100’s of them all joined together. That’s what they feel like too.

  • Barbara-nn

    Actually, we call these Blue Bottles in South Africa as well. I I myself have been stung many a time. This picture really gives a most beautifully vivid colour of a Blue Bottle.

  • Lainey

    It is referred to Portuguese Man-o-War because people believed it resembled a Portuguese battleship (man-o-war) of the time with a sail, it has nothing to do with an actual man 🙂

  • Tanase

    I believe it is refereed to as a Portuguese man of war as it is said to look like a Portuguese battle ship with a sail. 🙂

    awesome photo btw 🙂

  • John Hitchcock

    Can you see the face of a man in the blue bottle. It looks like he is tapping the fingers of his left hand on the sand, waiting for contact with an unsuspecting passerby.

  • thanks for this photo … it is facinating … I have never seen a blue bottle that big