Visitors to the Seattle Aquarium were treated to a bonus exhibit last week: at least two species of jellyfish were seen massed in the waters of Elliott Bay, just beyond the walkway of our new harbor seal exhibit. “Are those alive?” was a frequently asked question, usually answered when visitors were encouraged to watch for movement of tentacles.
Our indoor moon jelly exhibit amazes visitors, many of whom have never seen live jellies, but the experience of “wild” jellies is really special. Moved by currents, the fried egg (Phacellophora camtschatica) jellyfish shown in our photos below feed on masses of much smaller water jellies (Aequorea spp.). Unlike the even larger red-dish lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) occasionally seen in Elliott Bay, the fried egg jellyfish has a relatively mild sting. The lion’s mane (even dead specimens washed up on the beach) can deliver a substantial sting to humans who encounter its tentacles; meat tenderizer is suggested as an antidote.
Visit our website for more information about jellyfish—then come visit us to see the real thing, in our “jelly donut” exhibit and potentially in the waters of Elliott Bay!