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The Jellies Experience – Monterey Bay Aquarium

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The aquarium is spread out over two interconnected buildings, each with two floors. One building contains animals found in the open sea, and the other at the ocean’s edge. In the downstairs area is a new exhibit – The Jellies Experience.

There are signs everywhere explaining all the animals wonderfully. I was too busy looking at the jellyfish to remember what I was looking at, so any corrections would be appreciated.

Purple-striped jelly

Purple-striped jelly

The Purple-striped jelly is native to Monterey, and has a powerful, but non-fatal sting. They grow up to a metre in diameter and crabs have been known to catch a ride on the inside of the dome.

Black Sea Nettle Jellies

Black Sea Nettle Jellies

Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish

Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish

The most visually arresting of the exhibits in the Jellies Experiences, these Black Sea Nettle jellyfish contrast beautifully with the cobalt blue environment. These 6-foot-long jellies appear and disappear along the California coast line for years at a time.

Moon Jelly

Moon Jelly

Moon Jellies

Moon Jellies

The most numerous of the jellyfish in the exhibit, these change colour depending on what they’ve been eating.

Sea Nettle Jelly

Possibly a Sea Nettle Jelly

Sea Nettle Jellies are aggressive stingers. They attach themselves to their prey, then paralyze them. Like some of the other jellies, these can have crabs riding inside, but in this case the passenger actually eats its host.

Spotted Jellies

Spotted Jellies

Very pretty to look at, but the only thing I remember is that they have mouths in their arms (as so many of the others).

Comb jelly

Comb jelly

Comb Jellies have eight rows of comb-like plates lining their dome. These shimmer as they are contracted to propel the jelly through the water. Whilst they look pretty harmless, they’re actually cannibals, eating other smaller Comb Jellies. Their bodies are 95% water, so I guess they’re only 5% cannibal if that makes it any better.

Melibe

Possibly a Melibe – it was in the Jellies Experience, but is actually a sea slug

These live in the kelp forests and smell of watermelons. Couldn’t check.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellies Experience

A small section of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellies Experience

The Jellies Experience ranges from upright tanks like those above, to large interactive games. There are also all sorts of crabs and other invertebrates in the same area.

Entry is included in the price of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Ticket. More on that, and how to save on your visit, next time.

Again, I’m a bit clueless about flora and fauna, and was still being excessively happy about having seen a Sea Dragon, so any corrections would be appreciated.

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Since leaving London in 2006 I’ve travelled, worked, volunteered and lived in over 90 countries. Highlights so far would be driving along the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul, a complete circuit of South America and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica. I’m currently back in Beijing, as a base to visit more of Asia and attempt to learn Mandarin.

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