A unique sight was captured by Baltimore Sea Safari during a boat trip over the weekend.
The family business, which operates near-shore boat trips around the Hundred Islands of Carbery in West Cork, has captured images of thousands of jellyfish from the By-the-wind sailor.
The Baltimore Sea Safari offers whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and basking sharks with near shore boat trips from Baltimore to West Cork, Ireland.
By-the-Wind Sailor resembles the Portuguese Man O’War because they are not real jellyfish and they are made up of a colony of tiny individual animals.
They are called “by the wind-sailor” because of their long sail attached to the body of the organism.
According to The Wildlife Trusts, these small organisms consist of a dark blue-purple oval disc, known as the float with a thin, semi-circular fin (the sail) attached diagonally to the top of the float and tiny, short tentacles that hang from the float in the water below.
Sailing is important because it allows the body to catch the wind and move on ocean currents. The “jellyfish” then uses its stinging tentacles to feed on young fish and other small animals during its journey. Their venom is considered harmless to humans.
These organisms are often washed up on beaches by the hundreds or even thousands after a stormy winter.