Moon jellies are some of the most successful jellyfish on the planet. These members of the Aurelia family have adapted to a wide range of temperatures and salinity levels and can be found in virtually all the Earth’s oceans. Their huge range means that they share their territory with a wide variety of other jellyfish species, so inevitably there will be occasions when they get the blame for others’ misdeeds.
Although moon jellies do possess stinging cells, the chances of a human getting hurt by one are very low, owing to their superfine and very short tentacles. This – along with the distinctive white rings on their bell (actually reproductive organs) and their tendency to float near the surface -means they are easy to avoid. Even if we do come into contact with one, our skin is generally too thick for the sting to have any serious effect.
DANGER FACTOR: The sting is very mild and at worst will cause brief redness/itchiness, unless the skin is already damaged or sensitive.
Bell diameter: 38cm (15in)
Tentacle length: < 10cm (3.9in)