Meet the Jellyfish of Pensacola Beach
Curious about what the wide variety of blobs in Pensacola Beach are? If you are like us and have noticed quite a few jellyfish hanging around the shores lately then you may of asked yourself, “what kind of jellyfish is this?” That is why we have decided to identify some of the common jellyfish seen around Pensacola Beach!
Cannonball jellyfish get their name from the shape of their bodies. They often have a brown rim if found in the Gulf. Cannonball jellyfish are one of the most harmless and only cause a mild itch or irritation. They are also a well-known snack for our leatherback sea turtles. Cannonball jellyfish are also commercially harvested for human consumption!
Moon jellyfish are the most common type of jellyfish seen at Pensacola Beach. They have a pink four-leaf clover shape in the center of their bell with short tentacles on the edges. Moon jellyfish stings are incredibly mild, with the top part being safe to touch.
Atlantic Sea Nettles
Atlantic sea nettles have long tentacles and oral arms. These animals are unique because they change colors due to the level of salt in the water. In low-level salt water, such as bays, they appear white or transparent. They have red or brown streaks in higher levels of salt from the center of their bells.
Pink Meanies were not discovered in the Gulf of Mexico until 2000. They are a pink cotton candy color and can grow up to 70 feet. One of their favorite snacks are Moon jellyfish!
Portuguese Man o’war
The Portuguese man o’war are commonly mistaken for jellyfish because of their bright colors and jelly-like features. This creature is a Siphonophore. A colonial organism is made up of smaller units called zooids. They rely on currents and tides to push them along, so if you see one washed up on shore, there may be others nearby. Do not touch them if they appear dead or washed up on shore, as they can still sting.
Fun Facts About Jellyfish:
- Jellyfish are older than dinosaurs! Scientist predict that jellyfish came into existence anywhere from 500-700 million years ago!
- Jellyfish are actually a type of zooplankton!
- A group of jellyfish can be called a bloom, a swarm, or a smack!
- Many animals prey on jellyfish, such as, sea turtles, penguins, sharks, tuna and even humans!
- 98% of a jellyfish is made up of water!