This is the incredible moment when a single purple female moon jellyfish is observed among thousands of males.
In the summer in Port Fidalgo Fjord, Alaska, USA, hundreds of thousands of male jellyfish congregate en masse in the hopes of attracting one single female among the surge.
Alex Benedik dubbed this ceremony of togetherness the “Jellyfish Wedding” because of its resemblance to a jellyfish. The bride floats down the aisles formed by the huge congregation of her prospective partners wearing purple rather than white.
A jellyfish bloom, like an ant or bee colony, has only one female among the swarms, which means procreation competition is extremely fierce.
Comprised mainly of moon jellyfish, the assembly also reluctantly plays host to a number of predatory yellow Lion Mane jellyfish, whose toxic tentacles usually result in a fatal encounter if touched by any of the herd.
“It was an exciting natural occurrence for me to see—I’ve been waiting over five years to do this dive.” Alex, from Mistelbach, Austria, remarked after seeing it firsthand.
“The blooms are genuinely enormous, and I was extremely grateful to be a part of such an important moment in a jellyfish’s life.”
I couldn’t tell how many there were, but it looked like millions.
“As the waves are so big, it’s unusual to spot a purple female this close.
“We almost missed it. I had resurfaced waiting for a boat to arrive, but thankfully one of my diver buddies saw it and called everyone back down below the sea surface.”
“The female was swimming at a depth of 18 meters below the surface – I could have followed her for hours, but as my air ran out, I had to resurface.”
“It was fantastic; I can’t get enough dives in the blooms; it’s always a pleasure to be a part of aquatic life.”