We encountered many types of jellyfish in Raja Ampat, ranging from very, very small, to quite large. I got a few stings, but nothing major. I didn't know what to expect - but we ended up having great gear for this trip that provided good sting protection (I will have a gear specific post later with suggestions on the stuff to take for this type of trip).
I always love the jellyfish section at aquariums. If I was rich, I'd have a wall sized aquarium filled with jellyfish. They are so relaxing to watch - they're mesmerizing.
One of the first jellyfish I saw on this trip I described as "the condom jellyfish" because it is the size and shape of a condom. It has bright red tentacles and it transparent so you can see the red "guts" as well. (Nope, I'm NOT a marine biologist! I don't know what an accurate description is). I thought these were SO NEAT. I spent some time trying to get a photo (not knowing if it would turn out since it is so transparent and also trying to stay far enough away that I did not get stung (my hands and of course upper lip were exposed). After I thought I got a photo one of the guides came by and I pointed it out to ask about it. He said "BE CAREFUL - those are VERY itchy." Luckily I didn't get stung because our other guide then told me (back on the boat) a lot of horror stories about how bad this one is to get stung by. Apparently it takes literally WEEKS to recover, with big red welts in the meantime and "lots of pain and itching." Fun! Glad I did not know that initially or I would not have gotten this photo of the beautiful condom jellyfish.
An even cooler jellyfish (coolest of the trip) was what I call the electric light up jelly. MAN WAS THIS COOL. It has flashing colored lights that run around it. It is so entrancing. I could watch these all day! I tried getting a photo and I was able to do so. Man, these are just awesome to see! I wanted to watch them for MUCH longer but creepily, you really can't without getting them swept onto you and I didn't want to find out how stingy these were. I can't even remember if I asked how much these hurt to get stung by. Every time we saw them I was thrilled - they are so NEAT. Nature, it's amazing to see - just amazing. Wow! As you can tell, I have no adequate words for how cool these are!
I should have tried for video, but I don't think I could switch to video in the underwater camera case. Here's one on YouTube though, taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (I saw these there last fall - they had a great jellyfish exhibit). See how COOL???!!!