Tag Archives: jellyfish

Illuminated Portraits of Live Portuguese Man o’ War Captured by Aaron Ansarov 

Ansarov_01

An ex-military photographer, Aaron Ansarov retired from the Navy in 2007, transforming his skills to create commercial work for magazines and focus on his own practice. Fascinated with marine life since his days growing up in Central Florida, his series “Zooids,” focuses on detailed images of Portuguese Man o’ War. Ansarov photographs the creatures on a homemade light table while alive, then immediately releases them back into the wild where they were found.

Once shot and the Man o’ War are returned, each image receives minimal manipulation, as Ansarov makes only slight adjustments to the photograph’s exposure, contrast, and vibrancy to highlight the vivid details of each venomous siphonophore. The completed works are otherworldly, appearing like alien illustrations rather than portraits, with deep blues, purples, and pinks unfurling in every direction. You can see more of Ansarov’s illuminated images on Facebook and Instagram. (via Fubiz)

Ansarov_02

Ansarov_03

Ansarov_04

Ansarov_05

Ansarov_06

Ansarov_07

Ansarov_08

Ansarov_09

See related posts on Colossal about , , , .

New Species of Unusual Jellyfish Discovered 2.3 Miles Below the Ocean’s Surface 

In what looks more like a scene out of a James Cameron movie, researchers on a NOAA expedition aboard the Okeanos Explorer were filming with the help of an ROV in the Marianas Trench last week when an improbable creature suddenly popped into the frame. With just a few wiry tentacles and a cluster of 8 brightly reflective orbs inside its body, this new jellyfish looks like something from the realm of Photoshop than science. But incredibly, it’s real, living happily at 2.3 miles (~3,700 meters) underwater. From Scientific American:

Scientists believe this animal belongs to the genus Crossota, a group of jellies that does not have a sessile polyp stage; all phases of their lives are ocean drifters. They also believe this animal is an ambush predator – note the posture it had assumed in the first half of the video: its bell motionless with its tentacles outstretched like the struts of a spider’s web, waiting for something to bumble into them. The red canals, they suggest, appear to connect the bright yellow objects, which may be gonads.

You can get more photo and video updates from the Okeanos Explorer here. (via Neatorama, Scientific American)

Update: An earlier version of this article mentioned the jellyfish may be ‘bioluminescent’. While that may be true in some regard, several people with much more impressive scientific credentials than mine have written to suggest the “lights” seen inside the jellyfish in this video are merely reflective. The most likely scenario is that the gonads of this particular species exhibit some form of fluorescence but do not illuminate independently. Thanks, Steven.

jelly-2

jelly-1

See related posts on Colossal about , , , .

Exquisite Marine Life Specimens Imagined in Glass by Steffen Dam 

steffan-5All images courtesy Joanna Bird Gallery unless otherwise noted

As a child, Danish artist Steffen Dam loved poring over his grandparents’ collection of scientific books and cabinets of insects. This fascination of how we catalogue and understand the natural world followed through to his artistic glass career, where Dam creates highly detailed “Cabinets of Curiosities” that mimic oceanic specimens suspended in glass jars and plates. The pieces are usually displayed inside light boxes to better illuminate every minute detail from the fragile tentacles of a jellyfish to a flourish of bubbles that seem to dance around many of his specimens.

A quote from David Revere McFadden’s essay Between Art and Nature, The Glass of Steffen Dam:

Steffen Dam invites the viewer to relish the sheer beauty of his “specimens,” but also to reflect on the meaning of nature as a mirror of the human mind and spirit. Dam has “captured” nature in his work, but he assiduously avoids simple imitation of life; the artist shies away from what he refers to as “cheap tricks in glass.” He seeks to strike a “balance between fiction and reality.” While his work is in no way intended to serve as pedagogic tools, as specimens in “cabinets of curiosities” often were, they are intended to engage the eye and stimulate the imagination. Knowledge about the forms, structures, surfaces, and colors of true natural specimens is not to be found in Dam’s displays of crystal cylinders, but another kind of knowledge—that of the visual poetry of endlessly varied forms—is freely offered. Dam’s little creatures, although frozen in glass, remind of how we read and feel both time and change.

Dam most recently had several pieces on view at Chicago’s SOFA Expo through Heller Gallery. You can also see several additional works at Joanna Bird.

steffan-10
Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / SOFA Expo Chicago

steffan-1

steffan-2

steffan-3

steffan-4

steffan-6

steffan-7

steffan-8

steffan-9

steffan-11

steffan-12
Courtesy Heller Gallery

See related posts on Colossal about , , , , .

Matty Smith’s Photographs Display Vibrant Life Lurking Just Below Sea Level 


“Physalia Physalis” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

Appropriately titled Over/Under, Matty Smith's series showcases the dual environments that exist just above and below sea level. Smith focuses on images right at dusk in order to expose the vibrant colors that shine within the dark waters. Each shot is divided by a wavy strip of ocean just above the center of the photograph. Fish and coral live below the horizon as seagulls and sunsets populate the upper half of the photos.

Tricky photographs to shoot from a technical standpoint, Smith uses a strobe light for the bottom half of the image to ensure that both the animals above and below water are highlighted prominently.

The Australian photographer views each half and half image he captures as a landscape photograph, and prefers environments with depth and attitude over blue sunny skies. Typically Smith scouts his locations via snorkeling expeditions. “For me one of the most wondrous parts of any dive is the moment that the water engulfs my mask as my head slips below the surface,” says Smith. “I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter.” Many of his photos are available as prints. (via My Modern Met)

_DSC2129 copy
“Smiling Assassin” – American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

_DSC2498 copy
“A Silky Encounter 1” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

_DSC2545 copy
“A Silky Encounter 2” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba


“Bluebottle Army” – Bluebottle cnidarian, Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

303_0007 copy
“Crimson Tide” – Waratah Anemones, Port Kembla, NSW Australia

303_0434 copy
“Ocean Rose” – Bass Point, NSW Australia

304_4777
“A Shock of Blue” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

DSC_0730-4 copy
“A Splash of Yellow” – Sargassum Seaweed, Bushranger Bay, NSW Australia

See related posts on Colossal about , , , , .

Amazing Footage of a Swim through Jellyfish Lake in Palau 

While visiting the island nation of Palau earlier this month, a diver shot this impressive footage while snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake, a small body of water inhabited with an estimated 13 million golden jellyfish. Every morning the entire jellyfish population migrates from the east side of the lake to the west side, and then back again in the afternoon, causing a near constant flurry of activity as seen in the video. Unlike most jellyfish, this particular species has such a mild, almost undetectable sting that it can’t be felt on human skin, making it possible to swim through the school without being harmed. You can read a bit more about them in this fact sheet (PDF). (via Reddit)

See related posts on Colossal about , , .

Rick Satava’s Luminous Glass Blown Jellyfish Appear Suspended in Motion 

Satava_05

The jellyfish tank is the first environment I always run to when visiting an aquarium. I’m drawn to the luminous quality of the underwater creatures’ bodies, as well as their inclusion in a scene that appears to need no sources of artificial light. Glass artist Rick Satava was also captivated by these creatures in the late 80s, and after a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium he began to experiment with sculptures that mimicked the experience of a jellyfish’s elegant glide through the water.

Satava began selling these sculptures in 1990, and by 2002 he was crafting about 300 pieces of work a month. The bright jellyfishes he creates are suspended in the glass that surround them, yet each still appears as if their tentacles are rippling through the water. The glass blown approach works perfectly when translated to the round bell-like shape of the jellyfish’s body, as their natural appearance looks like brightly blown glass.

The California-based artist uses a technique in his sculptures called “glass-in-glass,” which consists of a glass sculpture being dipped into a second, molten glass layer. You can find Sativa’s sculptures within dozens of galleries nationally as well as a few locations internationally including Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. (via My Modern Met)

Satava_07

Satava_06

Satava_04

Satava_03

Satava_02

Satava_01

See related posts on Colossal about , , .

Page 1 of 3123