When Diana Nyad completed her 110 mile swim from Cuba to Key West on September 2, 2013 it rekindled memories of my encounters with jellyfish in the Caribbean. While photographing underwater for the book The Living Seas I swam into a swarm of jellyfish. I experienced how this magnificent creäture can be threatening.
Jellyfish sting in defense and as a way to attack prey. The tentacles are covered with thousands of cells with stinging threads. These stinging cells shoot out like darts shooting venom with the goal of paralyzing. This action is capable of killing smaller marine creatures. From first hand experience I can tell you that the effect on humans is pain, skin rashes, fever and muscle cramps. Given that I was underwater when stung I did not have close at hand vinegar, rubbing alcohol, meat tenderizer or or baking soda. I did have one of the more effective antidotes, urine. Trust me it works.
In spite of the potential hazard I was drawn back again and again with the goal of creating images which would celebrate the otherworldly beauty of the jellyfish.
I salute Diana Nyad.
To see additional underwater images visit my Image Archive: EastepPhotography.com