High Seas Drifter

Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis): Matt Smith

Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis) Photo: Matt Smith


Did you know that you know a left-handed jellyfish?

In Volume 2:2 of Great Ocean Quarterly Jennifer Ennion comes to grips (carefully) with the many mysteries of the Portuguese Man o’ War.

They sail across the ocean’s surface at the mercy of wind and current, their floats catching the breeze like miniature boats without captains. They ride the swell until it peters out and provides a rest, or dumps them onto the shore to face their unfortunate fate. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be in their way as they twirl through the sea – indigo tails clutching at bare necks and slicing across torsos.

But they don’t seem to have much say in any of this: such is the lot of the Portuguese Man o’ War, known in Australia as the bluebottle.

Great Ocean Quarterly Volume 2:2 is coming soon – locate a store near you or vistit the GOQ Shop to purchase the digital edition from 2 April 2015.




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