IF you have been down the beach recently you may have seen these washed ashore.
While they are both there due to the strong winds and wintery weather, what is amazing is that they both “sail” and one eats the other!
Instead of crawling along rocks, violet snails make a slime raft and float on the surface of the ocean.
To make their raft, violet snails fold their foot to trap air, then ooze slime. The air hardens the slime forming a bubble.
Their bubble raft is pushed around by the wind, blowing violet snails on to their floating food: blue bottle jellyfish.
This colourful jellyfish is not just one sea creature but colony of them!
Each with a special job to do; the balloon-like float on the surface is one animal and it’s in charge of transport – it carries the colony as they drift along the surface of the water.
Underneath are others that either produce gas for the float, reproduce, bring food up to the mouth or catch food with powerful stinging cells.
Be careful if you see blue bottles washed ashore as their stinging cells may still work and, if touched, could cause painful blisters.