Sat 28 May 2005
Went to the sea at Kanezaki again today. It was a bit choppy (namidatte iru) and cold and the visibility wasn’t as good as usual, but there was still plenty to see. I saw lots of pufferfish (fugu). But the thing that stood out today was that there seemed to be a hell of a lot of jellyfish (kurage), so I was swimming cautiously, not knowing which ones were venomous!
I saw three kinds of jellyfish today: moon jellies (mizukurage), brown jellies (akakurage), and comb jellies (urikurage). While we’re on the topic of jellyfish, however, I should also mention the Box Jellies (andonkurage) because they’re the nasty little things that infest our sea during the summer and make swimming almost impossible! This early in the year there are a few around but they usually don’t grow their stinging tentacles (4 pink tentacles) until August.
The pictures below are not mine. They are from various sources on the Internet. I will take my own pictures another time.
Moon Jellyfish (mizukurage): About the size of a dinner plate (30cm) and very solid but not poisonous. I pushed one along in the water and I could feel the weight of it.
Brown Jellyfish (akakurage): The umbrella is only about 25cm across, but the tentacles on the one I saw were over 100cm long. It looks mean and, sure enough, it’s poisonous.
This kind of jellyfish is a ctenophore or comb jelly (urikurage). It looks like a floating sac (about 10-15cm long) with rows of cilia that shimmer in rainbow colors. Quite beautiful really!
Box Jelly (andonkurage): These are quite small (only 3 or 4 cm body and 10-15cm tentacles) but really nasty. In the water they look pretty, especially when they are trailing their 4 pink tentacles during the summer, but if one touches you, it makes you sorry that you entered the water!! One of the reasons I wear a wetsuit even during the summer!
Phylum: Cnidaria; Class: Cubozoa; Order: Carybdeidae; Species: Charybdea rastonii