Jellyfish invasion on Florida Atlantic coast

Jellyfish in Florida

You must have heard thousands of jokes that start like this: “Two jellyfish walk into a bar.” It’s no joke when tens of thousands of jellyfish are washed out to the shore.  When I lived in Florida we always watched out for the jellyfish called the “Portuguese man of war”.  The Portuguese man of war has a very painful sting, and causes a string of velts on human skin.  The jellyfish featured in the news article is a different species; a Vellella jellyfish whose stingers cause only moderate itching.  The invasion is very indirect, as jellyfish can’t move out to land.  The Velella floats on the surface of the ocean, so it is at the mercy of the force of the waves and the wind.  On that day it was the waves and the wind driving the masses of jellyfish out onto the beach.

Thousands of jellyfish invade Florida beach

Lifeguards on Hallandale Beach, about 18 miles (29 kilometers) north of Miami, discovered the shoreline littered with jellyfish, according to the city of Hallandale Beach’s Facebook page. Strong winds and ocean currents can bring these creatures onto shore. Unfortunately, there is no way to forecast their arrival, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

Jellyfish at Beachfront Pottery

The striking blue color of the Velella jellyfish reminded me of a series of ceramic jellyfish I made in my pottery studio, the Beachfront Pottery.   I show here two examples where blue or green glazes were used to give the a unique appearance to these ceramic pieces.

 

Monsoon Jellyfish wallhanging from Beachfront Pottery
Monsoon Jellyfish wallhanging from Beachfront Pottery

 

Green Jellyfish wallhanging from Beachfront Pottery
Green Jellyfish wallhanging from Beachfront Pottery

Both of these ceramic pieces are wall decorations.  The height is 8 inches, the width is 5 inches.  The pieces were formed from white earthenware clay, and placed on a mold to give the spherical 3D effect for the top of the jellyfish.  Then the piece is bisque fired (cone 02), glazed, and then glaze fired (cone 04).   There is a metal loop glued to the backside of the piece, so all you need is a nail in the wall, and the jellyfish can be hung on the wall in a kids bedroom, in bathrooms. etc.

Robert Kokenyesi, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL USA

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