Talking Smack

smack of jelly fish  

Yeah, yeah ... I read the Urban Dictionary and I know that smack talk is dissing someone, but at the marina currently, there's another meaning to smack talk. We're inundated with jellyfish … moon jellies to be exact (aurelia aurita), and the warm water around the boat is thick with them. The collective noun for jellyfish is smack, so we're definitely talking smack here.

We were a little concerned that these are the stinging variety of jellyfish as there are several very poisonous jellyfish that inhabit Australian waters including the irukandji and the box jellyfish. The moon jellies are indeed poisonous, but their stingers evidently cannot penetrate tough human skin, so there are no worries. Doesn't matter, I don't like them much as swimming companions, so I've stayed out of the water. We've seen signs warning against jellyfish at some beaches in the past and we definitely take heed.


marine stingers


I am, however, fascinated with photographing them. Moon jellies, in particular, are quite pretty, especially when their gelatinous bodies contrast sharply against the green water of the marina. Evidently, they're pretty ubiquitous in temperate waters in all the world's oceans. I appreciate the intricacy of the four-leaf clover shaped organ in the center. I found out that it's actually their reproduction organs. Hmmm.


close-up of a jelly fish


They locomote by pulsation and watching them slowly wend their way through the water and around the boat has kept me amused and occupied just observing and photographing them. Doesn't take much to keep me away from boat chores, huh?



A little jelly smack trivia … In 1991, over 2000 moon jellies were sent into space on the space shuttle

Columbia to study the effects of weightlessness on the development of jellies. Your tax dollars at work.