By Laura Kemp • 20 January 2022 • 12:43
Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson's sister latest to weigh in on Downing Street drinking culture. Credit: Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.
An expert describes the “gobsmacking abundance” of bluebottle jellyfish that have been washing up on beaches in Australia.
Biologist and jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin said the beautiful creatures were at the mercy of the wind and have been found all along Tasmania’s east coast, along the New South Wales’ coast, in parts of Victoria and even South Australia.
Dr Gershwin told ABC Radio Hobart: “At the moment we are seeing what can only be described as, scientifically of course, a gobsmacking abundance of these things.”
Although Dr Gershwin said it was normal for the wind to be bringing the jellyfish to shore and that Cyclone Seth could have contributed, she also noted that “we are seeing a lot, even before Seth came in.”
While the sight of the blubottles may be frightening for swimmers, Dr Gershwin described them as “very beautiful and interesting.”
She said the population of bluebottles was higher in the summer due to the breeding in warmer months, but wind has been a key factor.
“It’s not just a summertime thing; it has to do with sustained onshore winds.”
“When a wind comes up it drives these armadas to shore.”
“That just means we see them more this time of year, but we can see them anytime.”
An ‘armada’ is the collective noun for bluebottles, with Dr Gershwin saying they are usually found floating in large numbers out in the open ocean,
Bluebottles differ from a true jellyfish and consist of a complicated anatomy of four individuals with both male and female parts.
“Each bluebottle colony are either left-handed or right-handed in terms of their sail,” Dr Gerswhin said.
“It’s nature’s way of making sure it doesn’t kill off the entire population at once.”
The bluebottle jellyfish is closely related to the bigger Portuguese man o’ war, which is found in the Atlantic.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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