Barrel Jellyfish

Andrew Wallace
06.09.17 01:40 PM Comment(s)

Love them or hate them barrel jellyfish (rhizostoma octopus) are regular visitors to Pembrokeshire, sometimes in large numbers and are still around in September although not as many as in the summer months.

They are large, sometimes reaching up to 1m in diameter, and have a mass to them so if you swim into one you will know about it! The 'bell' is a soft rubbery like texture which can be pale pink or white, often fringed with purple markings.

The bell does not have tentacles in the classic jellyfish image, but instead has eight thick, filly 'arms' that dangle from the bell or 'manubrium'.

They have a mild sting but we have swum into plenty of them and are yet to be stung, certainly the bell dies not sting in any way and luckily that's what you often swim into first although they mostly swim 1-2 metres from the surface, so you would need to be quite unlucky to do so.

Whatever your thoughts on these creatures though, there's no denying they are pretty cool to watch as they gently swim through the ocean!

Overcoming Fear of Jellyfish

In most cases there's not much you can do when you encounter jellyfish in the sea unless you can spot them in advance. Luckily these bad boys are large and easily visible, so simply swim around them.

However, what we recommend, especially if they do tend to freak you out a bit, is next time you see one, swim up to it and duck down and take a look. Spend a bit of time examining it from all angles. See how they swim. Understand them a bit. This will definitely increase your confidence from then on each time you come across them.