What do a jellyfish and a cucumber have in common? Apart from being edible (yes really but mind the stingers) they are both 95% water. Who knew? Just don’t mix the two up when relaxing in the bath and looking to apply something soothing on your eyes. Ouch. At present, we know of about 2,000 different types of jellyfish but scientists believe that there could be as many as 300,000 different species yet to be discovered.
When coming across a washed up jellyfish on the beach it can feel like an encounter of the third kind. These invertebrates remind us just how peculiar life on this planet can be, especially sea life. Unfortunately, when alive and drifting near the shoreline they can also remind us how deadly life can be. Along with chairs, jellyfish kill more people each year than sharks. Not surprising really when even dead jellyfish and tentacles that have become detached still have the capacity to sting.
One for you collectors of collective nouns; a group of jellyfish is known as a bloom or smack and it would seem those two words perfectly encapsulate the beauty and beast that lies within these magical entities.
We’ve selected 14 images, with the emphasis on the otherworldly beauty rather than deadly.