When the wind starts blowing, a lot of interesting creatures come visiting us, and the best part is that this is just a temporary event. Similarly to a flash-mob, they show up, do their exhibition and move away. It is definitely of an exhibition that we speak of when we get Blue Buttons (Porpita porpita) in our waters.
These incredibly stunning creatures have been one of the first discoveries that made me fall in love with ocean drifters when I arrived in the Maldives 5 years ago.
These drifters are considered by most “just jellyfish”, but despite being gelatinous, they are not true Jellies, but hydrozoans, colonial organisms which consist of several animals (polyps) which cooperate.
This open-ocean colony consists of a central disc-shaped float made up of numerous air chambers and blue or green tentacles that are used for feeding on microscopic organisms near the water surface. It has a central mouth that it uses also for excretion of waste.
All hydrozoans are stinging organisms, but this species is slightly stinging to humans as the stinging cells are unable to pierce the skin. Anyways we advise people to be careful during times when Porpita porpita individuals float around as wind may push in also other stinging organisms.
Enjoy this magnificent critter!
Discover more at: www.soneva.com