My first visit to the National Aquarium was also a behind-the-scenes tour of the jellyfish room with Jennie Janssen (@JellyJanssen). I was completely mesmerized by hundreds of jellies in various industrial-sized aquaria. But I should also note, I am frequently mesmerized by jellies, big and small, be they in an aquarium or under the scope in the lab. And I should also note that because I am so mesmerized, I feel the need to take a lot of pictures.
I wanted to share some of these photos after reading a wonderful feature in the October issue of Nat Geo about jellies, which featured work by NMNH researchers and fellow jellyfish nerds Cheryl Ames, Allen Collins, Rebecca Helm, and Keith Bayha, as well as Jennie. The article covers a large breadth of jellyfish biology, and features beautiful photographs by David Liittschwager.
I have been fortunate to work with a range of species in my career already. Below are a few images of jellyfish currently in my life, as well as a few from the day I spent at the National Aquarium.
Once the buds are farther along the medusa starts fighting for freedom, like these here. Also notice the difference in stolon, which is more patchy than H. symbiolongicarpus.
I could watch them all day, and so can you! Check out the Blue Blubber Webcam at the National Aquarium, and try not to look away.