Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jelly Fish

This little guy was swimming in Hoi Ha Bay (海下灣) in Sai Kung (西貢) back in 2002. It was not big, just a few inches long. It was colourful and looked harmless, seemingly just floating around nonchalantly. But I stayed out of its way anyway.

The place was beautiful. The water shallow and clear, and full of little creatures such as this little jelly fish, other small fish, snails, and more.

It was also subtly dangerous. We waded out further and further, until at least 50 meters from the shore, and yet the water was still only up to our knees. Before we knew it, however, the tide changed. The water level started rising rapidly, and our shorts got wet. Fortunately we scrambled back to shore before it became really dangerous


The Cat said...

*ugh* Jellyfish. I have gotten stung more times than I want to remember.

For some reason, I seem to attract hostile sealife. Jellies, stinging coral, and sea urchins. I think those things like to take a hate to me :-)

StephenC said...

That little guy looked cute. I was trying to imagine what it could have been thinking. They do have tiny little brains, don't they?

The Cat said...

The little guy looks cute all right, but jellies can be deathly venomous. Not sure if we have any of those here around HK, but I give them a wide berth when I can (except that they seem to seek me out).

As for brains, I think that they don't -- at least not in the normal sense of the word. Their tentacles just trigger when they brush past something -- I don't know how much control they actually have over the process.

Speaking of jelly brains, you'll love this quote:

"These are fantastic creatures with 24 eyes, four parallel brains and 60 arseholes." Dan Nilsson, University of Lund, Sweden. (New Scientist, 8 November 2003, p. 34)

Cool, eh?

StephenC said...

Yeah. I did make sure it didn't touch me. I read somewhere that the poison is all in the tentacles, and it is OK to touch the head. But I didn't want to chance it.

As for the Nilsson quote, it sounds weird - from our point of view. From the jelly's point of view, perhaps we would look weird too.