In today’s countdown to my nautical travel journal pre-order, we get to talk about an organism that I did get to see in person, but mistook for an onslaught of blue bottle caps on the ocean waves! Today’s fact is about sail jellyfish.

Velella velella (sail jellies, sea rafts, little sails, by-the-wind sailors) are small jellyfish that can typically fit in ones hand. They live on the ocean’s surface, much like Portuguese man o’ wars, and feed like a normal jelly, using the tentacles on it’s underside. Many jellies do not have the capability of propulsion, and are simply taken where the current leads them. The velella velella is no exception to this, but it is pulled by the wind literally catching in it’s translucent sail, more than the ocean’s current.

I have no idea whether they are poisonous or not, but I wouldn’t be tempted to test it out!

I’ve complied all sorts of random facts and experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 4

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