despite its resemblance to the jellyfish, the bluebottle is more closely related to coral. known as a zooid, the bluebottle (or portugese man of war) is a colonial animal composed of many highly specialized and physiologically integrated individual organisms incapable of independent survival.
the blue dragon — a type of nudibranch, here no larger than a thumbnail, with its own potent sting — is able to eat the nematocysts (stinging cells) of the bluebottle without discharging them and internally relocate them to the tips of each one of the fingers you can see in the pictures.
for their part, the violet snails also feed on the bluebottles.
notes matt, “despite their potentially dangerous sting, the bluebottle is an amazingly beautiful creature. with strong winds, hundreds of these cnidaria are blown into the bays around my home town and trapped overnight.”
this allows him to capture the above shots, which he creates with use of a fluorescent tube in his strobe light and a homemade waterproof lens dome.
In seven days, we hiked 80 miles across an entire mountain range, climbed two 13ers, skinny-dipped in two alpine lakes and a river, I was the first person to summit Mt. Whitney on the 4th of July, and simultaneously we were the first people to witness sunrise on the entire Pacific coast. Summer has begun; adventure has been redefined. - chrisbrinleejr
Nepal, Mustang, Lopa man
From Before They Pass Away
shot Flickr - Brad.T.Riley
Yosemite National Park | Haytham Smadi
Svinafellsjökull, Iceland | Maurice Lepetit