Huge swells and high winds at Yorke Peninsula over the past two days were welcome relief from the extreme heat of last week.
They also washed up a whole new collection of marine specimens onto ‘my’ beach.
These blue bottles (Physalia utriculus) were found along the high tide line at about 5pm last night. According to my trusty An Introduction to Marine Life, these jellyfish-like creatures,
“cause extremely painful stings from their single long blue tentacle. Extreme cases are rare, but may cause breathing or cardiac difficulties. Hot water NOT vinegar is the recommended treatment”.
Blue bottles travel along the surface of the ocean thanks to a gas-float structure, seen here still inflated. They are actually not jellyfish, but are Hydrozoans, in which components of the larger structure are made up of individual, specialised polyps; other members of this family form branched creatures attached to rocks and kelp. These specimens were about 10cm long, including the tentacle.