Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Enjoying Florida, Part 2

Ok. So, as a marine biologist, I happen to know a few things about marine organisms. Whenever I walk on a beach and find something interesting, I happen to enjoy talking about those few things I know to whoever is unlucky enough to be walking with me. I love finding marine life on the beaches - it just never gets old. So you can imagine my excitement when we're strolling along Casey Key near sunset and we see this:

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:


Jenny said...

That's totally awesome. Both the jellyfish itself and the nerd contagion.

WhySharksMatter said...

I'm had experiences with contagious nerd-ism myself. When standing on the beach looking for sharks, usually someone will ask me who I am and what I'm doing, and before long I've got a whole bunch of people helping. We never see much, but it's still fun, and is an opportunity to talk to people about sharks.

cici said...

I've never seen the jellyfish on beach before. this is amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

That's funny and gorgeous pics. When I was travelling with my kids on the west coast, we touched the jellies of jellyfish. Now I can say a marine biologist said to!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the time we were coring at the various pinellas county beaches...

But shame on you christie! You left out the AWESOMENESS of our jellyfish-catching in Fiji!

We saw literally HUNDRED of jellyfish floating by, so we ran around asking the crew of the Tui Tai for a bucket and some rope so we could catch one. Upon our catching one in such an oh-so-scientific manner, we proceeded to look for it in every marine life book on the ship. And then when we couldn't find it, THEN Christie decides to touch it to see if it stings, and with her left hand, "just in case"!

Christie Lynn said...

Well, at least I used my left hand... ;)

I said I have a problem, didn't I?!

BunnyKissd said...

Hee! Our plan is working! Soon we will rule the world! ^-^

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Wonderful post! I wish I'd found it earlier; we had an invasion of lion's mane jellies just a couple of weeks ago, and I really wanted to see how solid the "flesh" was, but didn't dare touch them.

I picked up a bedraggled one from underwater, yesterday, thinking it was seaweed. And threw it away with a yelp, once I saw what I had.

It was long dead; it should have been ok, from what I see on here.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Re contagious nerdiness; I came across a bunch of little kids on the beach, turning over rocks to find crabs. I looked over their catch and saw a sea slater. "Wow! You've got a sea slater!" They crowded around to see it, and the kid holding it preened.

I went on my way. Behind me, the kids were running to tell their parents; "Look! A sea slater!" Total delight and awe in their voices.