In pictures: The venomous bluebottle jellyfish spotted in Mumbai’s Girgaon Chowpatty beach

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There are many rare marine life species, which resurface from time to time, and among them is the bluebottle jellyfish that was recently spotted on a beach in Mumbai, leading to quite a frenzy among the locals.

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Indian Express photographer Amit Kumar Das captured some stunning images of the fish on his camera at the Girgaon Chowpatty beach — they may very well be mistaken for an oddly-shaped plastic or something of that sort.

bluebottle jellyfish, what is the bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, about bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish photos, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, indian express news The bluebottles are not easily spotted underwater and cannot be preyed upon. (Express photo by Amit Kumar Das)

According to oceana.org, the bluebottle jellyfish — also known as Physalia utriculus — is named so because of its appearance, which is that of a gas-filled sac “often referred to as ‘the float’, which resembles a blue bottle floating in the ocean”.

The website describes the species as “foraging predators that feed mostly on larval fish and small crustaceans and mollusks”. It explains that they have “predatory tentacles” that are equipped with “stinging cells” used to paralyse and capture prey. Once that is done, the prey is transferred to the “mouths of digestive tentacles” and ingested.

bluebottle jellyfish, what is the bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, about bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish photos, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, indian express news Bluebottles are similar to the Portuguese man o’ war in terms of appearance and also behaviour. (Express photo by Amit Kumar Das)

The bluebottles, because of their translucent bodies, are not easily spotted underwater and cannot be preyed upon. Interestingly, they use their “reproduction tentacles” to produce eggs and sperm both, which then make larva. “The larva divides itself many times until a colony is formed,” the website states.

bluebottle jellyfish, what is the bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, about bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish photos, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, indian express news These fish may very well be mistaken for an oddly-shaped plastic or something of that sort. (Express photo by Amit Kumar Das)

It adds that bluebottles are similar to the Portuguese man o’ war in terms of appearance and also behaviour, but they are not a jellyfish; they are a ‘siphonophore’ (multicellular animals). When a bluebottle stings, it still causes pain and swelling, and the tentacles should be removed carefully by using tweezers.

bluebottle jellyfish, what is the bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, about bluebottle jellyfish, bluebottle jellyfish photos, bluebottle jellyfish Mumbai, indian express news Once ashore, they get stuck in the sand. While some eventually return with the tide, most end up dying on the beach. (Express photo by Amit Kumar Das)

Beachgoers have to keep in mind that bluebottles can sting victims even after they have been washed ashore and are dead.

A similar occurrence was reported by indianexpress.com last year. It is believed that every year, the brightly coloured marine hydrozoans get washed onto the shores as a result of the monsoon winds. Unfortunately, once ashore, they get stuck in the sand. While some eventually return with the tide, most end up dying on the beach.

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