irukandji jellyfish, found in the waters near Australia. This tiny, inconspicuous, fragile little jelly packs a punch: a sting from one will likely leave you in the hospital with the aptly named "irukandji syndrome" which consists of excruciating cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, restlessness, severe body pains, and high heart rate and blood pressure. Like many other wonders of nature (such as the hunting patterns of a cougar), the surprisingly powerful sting from this jellyfish is something that I prefer to admire from afar.
But watching jellyfish, that is another story altogether! Watching jellyfish can be hypnotic. There is just something about the shape, the drifting swim, the translucence, and the incredible colors of a jellyfish that is absolutely mesmerizing.
There are many different types of jellyfish swimming around in our oceans, and while we do not have the irukandji to worry about on the North Island, we do not have to travel to Australia to look at (or get stung by) a jellyfish. A very common type of jellyfish in our area is the cyanea capillata, also known as the "lion's mane jellyfish". Recently, there has been an explosion of these jellyfish just off the coast of Vancouver Island.
An article in the Province states that lion's mane jellies have been washing up on the coast as far up as Comox, but some readers have mentioned seeing them in Campbell River as well.
Are you from the North Island? Where have you noticed jellyfish washing up on the beach?