A single jellyfish swims from the left to the right, against a clear blue background. The jellyfish is light orange, and has deep red tentacles trailing behind it.

Jellyfish Full Steam Ahead

So fantastically weird... It's like a gelatinous alien mushroom with killer tentacles shooting through the water. Mix in the fact that they're hard to spot in regular water and can sting you and, well, maybe I'll reconsider putting my foot in the ocean.

I'm much more at ease viewing them in this context — behind a solid plate of glass.

They're Ancient

If Wikipedia is to be believed, jellyfish have been around for at least 500 million years. I'm guessing, but I think the type pictured in the photo is a pacific sea nettle (chrysaora fuscescens). It's a favourite at the local aquarium and seems entirely alien.

Learning About Jellyfish

If you're looking for a less academic introduction to jellyfish (i.e., not Wikipedia), take a look at the Jellyfish 101 blog article at the Ripley's Aquarium website. In addition to discussion jellyfish, they describe the special kreisel tank used to hold them.