I stumbled across this "blue bottle" jellyfish a few days ago.
You may know it by its more common name, the Portuguese Man O' War.
This jellyfish is in the Class Hydrozoa, and the Order Siphonophora. It is actually a colony of individuals called zooids, which are incapable of living independently. It fills an air sac with gas, allowing it to float on the surface of the ocean. Tentacles dangle below the surface, with stinging cells that "contain one of the most powerful poisons known in marine animals and can
inflict severe burns and blisters even when the animal is dead on the
beach." (National Audubon Society Field Guide To Seashore Creatures)
Don't let the beautiful, blue color fool you. This critter is best left alone!
Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.