It was about a foot across - it was huge! I had a total nerd moment.
At this point, I have a confession to make. I've heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. Well, I have a problem. I like to touch jellyfish. I have this unavoidable urge to touch any jellyfish I find - just ask Allie about the moon jelly we caught off the boat in Fiji. So, of course, I had to touch the huge jellyfish on Casey Key, and I convinced Barry to check it out, too:
As soon as we started touching the bell, someone ran up and said "Oh no! Don't touch it! It'll sting you!" To which, of course, I explained that I'm a marine biologist, and that the bell doesn't have any stinging cells, only the tentacles do. (For the record, as I said I have a problem: I felt those, too. Luckily, since it was on the ground for so long, all the nematocysts had fired already so I got away with it.)
Anyhow, lo and behold, later on we're watching the sunset and some kids have discovered our little gelatinous friend. No sooner have they bent down for a closer look that we hear on the wind:
"Go ahead! Touch it! A marine biologist was doing it earlier!"
That's right. Nerdiness - it spreads like a virus. The Nerd is contagious. And I infected a nice group of people on Casey Key.
Anyhow, it was also quite a beautiful sunset: