About Moon Jellyfish
Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) dwell primarily near coastal regions and are frequently spotted in the waters surrounding Key West. Moon jellyfish are not poisonous but can produce a painful sting and they are widely regarded as a nuisance by divers and snorkelers. Jellyfish are 95% water and do not possess a head, brain, heart, lungs, gills, blood, eyes, or ears. They have a complex nerve system and will react to stimuli but they cannot think.
Why their shape, size and movement matter
Jellyfish rely on ocean currents for locomotion and their rudimentary swimming function serves only to keep them near the surface. Moon jellyfish are carnivorous, feeding primarily on zooplankton, and use their tentacles that possess stinging cells called nematocysts to stun their prey.
The bell portion or body of the jellyfish cannot produce a sting. In the unlucky event that you are stung, applying household vinegar to the affected areas works best to relieve the pain. Although you never want to see jellyfish when you’re swimming in the warm waters of the ocean, they are one of the favorite Key West Tourist Attractions for the Aquarium.