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Photographer's Note

About a month ago, Jonathan Wilson (jbweasle) posted a beautiful photograph of jellyfish taken at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. In my critique I said that I wasn’t sure whether it met TrekEarth’s Terms of Service (ToS), but it attracted a lot of positive comments, so made me think about posting this one from the aquarium on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

Before posting my contribution I checked the ToS and discovered that Adam has edited the terms since I last looked at them, now only restricting photographs of family, friends, pets, infrared images, studio photographs and shots of common objects (like close-ups of garden plants, water droplets, toothbrushes, etc.) unless they are accompanied by a suitable note that teaches us about the world (because the purpose of TE is to learn about the world through photography).

So that means photographs of jellyfish in aquariums are now permitted! Thanks Adam. I hope that doesn’t mean we are going to be flooded with aquarium photographs (because I actually find aquariums quite boring places), but it does enable me to share this one image that I do like very much.

As I wasn’t intending to post this on TE when I shot it, I didn’t note down the details of this particular species of jellyfish, so I tried matching it up with photographs on the Internet but got totally confused. In fact after reading this description on the aloha.com website, I am not even sure now that they are jellyfish:

“Jellyfish are any planktonic marine member of a group of invertebrate animals composed of about 200 described species of the class Scyphozoa (phylum Cnidaria) or of the class Cubozoa, which was formerly considered an order of Scyphozoa. The term, jellyfish, is also often used in referring to certain other cnidarians that have a medusoid (saucer- or bell-shaped) body form, such as hydromedusae, the siphonophores (including even the Portuguese man-of-war which technically is not a jellyfish but a pelagic colonial hydroid or hydrozoan), as well as unrelated forms such as salps and comb jellies.”

Maybe I should have titled this ‘Circulating cnidarians’?

I’ve described this as ‘deadly beauty’ because I assume those tentacles pack a nasty sting. They remind me of a box jellyfish commonly known as a ‘sea wasp’ (scientific name Chironex fleckeri) that I often used to see in the ocean when living in tropical Australia (the jellyfish in this photograph are not sea wasps though because the tentacles on sea wasps hang from the outside of the bell shaped body rather than the middle). Even a moderate sting from a sea wasp can cause death within a few minutes and according to the aloha.com website, the mortality rate is about 20% “with death arising from secondary to respiratory paralysis, neuromuscular paralysis drowning, and cardiovascular collapse”.

That is why when you visit tropical areas of Australia in the wet season (November to April) you are advised NEVER to swim in the sea.

No PP except USM at 350%.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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