As the water heats up and the currents change, we start to see more and more jellyfish.
Jellyfish have been around for at least 500 million years and possibly even 700 million years, making them the oldest multi-organ animal. They have a bell-shaped body with an opening in the middle which is its mouth. Jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them.
Jellyfish digest their food very quickly. They wouldn’t be able to float if they had to carry a large, undigested meal around for a long period. They dine on fish, shrimp, crabs, tiny plants, and will even eat other species of jellyfish.
To move around in the water a jellyfish squirts water from their mouths which will propel them forward. Animals that love moon jellies are turtles and even smaller fish like blue tangs and sergeant majors don’t mind a nibble.
One of our dive sites, Joe’s Cave, seems to be their party and hang out place. We see tons and tons of them, especially in the cave where they all seem to gather. Not just in the cave, they are all over the dive site and you can find them floating towards the surface. You can also find them on all the Dog Islands.
The main ones we see are the moon jellies. The good news is, they are beautiful and they don’t sting! They look like a sauce pan and have a beautiful violet flower on their body. These jellyfish normally don’t live longer than about 6 months as they float around the world’s oceans.
Other jellyfish that pass through our waters are bell jelly fish and the sea wasp. Unfortunately the sea wasp does sting! He is family of the box jellyfish, but not as fatal as the Australian one. He has a small bell-shaped body, about 3 inches big. He has four tentacles who can get about 12 inches long.
What to do when you get stung by jellyfish?
Vinegar normally does the trick. Soak the stung area in vinegar and the stinging should stop. If no vinegar is within reach, rinse with salt water! Make sure to try to remove the tentacles.
I also want to tell you about a very interesting fish, who just made our dive boat Sunchaser his new home! Around the staff he is known as the leaf fish, but actually he is a triple tail.
A triple tail is a warm-water fish found across the tropics and can grow to 35 inches long and weigh 41 pounds .Ours is only about 6-8 inches though, which probably means he is only juvenile. The cool thing about him is that he floats on his side, making him look like a dry leaf, hence the name leaf fish.