JellyFish Facts

Physalia Jellyfish

Physalia Jellyfish picture

Physalia Jellyfish

The Physalia jellyfish, scientifically regarded to as Physalia physalis is the term used to refer to the Portuguese Man 'O War. It is among the most feared of jellyfish probably because of its stinging and tropical abundance. It is mostly located in the salt water bodies in the tropics. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans are the dense water bodies that have an abundance of this species of jellyfish.

The Physalia Jellyfish or generally, the Portuguese Man 'o war, is a blue transparent jelly with a large air bladder that it uses for encouraging floatation. In the event of an apparent danger, the jelly can easily deflate the air bladder and swim down to the deep. It has long tentacles that can reach a span of 165 feet. These tentacles have nematocysts that house the poison. Though not considered fatal unless administered in high dosages, the venom of the jelly does not suffice to cause a fatality. The pain on the other hand is excruciating, though it can be alleviated by administering of the right kind of first aid.

Most people are advised to steer clear of this jellyfish potentially because its tentacles still have the stinging power, days after they have been detached from the main body. That goes for washed up and dead Physalia jellyfish washed up on the shore as well. As dead as they may seem, they can still sting and cause severe pain, but nothing too unbearable.

The Physalia Jellyfish does not sit on top of the food chain. It is a carnivore, but does have some natural enemies, including the loggerhead turtle. The turtle has such thick body covering that the jelly cannot be able to penetrate. For anyone else the Portuguese Man O' War is a threat, but for an overhead turtle it's just your ordinary snack.

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Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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