Sunday, December 20, 2009


I've only seen jellyfish in the wild washed up on the beach. Needless to say that's not when they're at their best. At the Adventure Aquarium, they looked other worldly as they swam up and down in the water column. The dark exhibit corridor and the holiday lighting made for difficult photo ops and added to the alienness of these life forms.

And they really do seem very strange to me. Washed up on the beach they are just blobs with the occasional tentacle. In the water they were majestic, mesmerizing beings, swimming silently in the dim light. Pulsing their entire bodies, seemingly oblivious to each other. What were they thinking? Can they think? They don't seem to have a head to house a brain to do any thinking with. But something is controlling the pulsing, right?

Off course jellyfish do live in a different world. We live in a world of air, they in one of water. But fish seem familiar, they've got faces and just fins instead of feet. Lobsters and crabs are just big insects. But jellyfish are weird.

I suspect that if we ever do meet aliens they will be either strangely familiar but subtly different, wrong; or they will be nothing like we imagined. Until then there's always the aquarium (or the open ocean, maybe I'll take up scuba diving).


Anonymous said...

These are nice shots of very strange beings indeed.

Kerri said...

I love watching jellyfish swim, too. They are so graceful, but they sure do pack a punch!