five cool facts about bluebottles
1) they are not one animal but actually a colony of highly modified and co-operative individuals - the single pneumatophore or float, the stinging dactylozooids which capture the food, the gastrozooids which do the digesting and the gonozooids, in charge of reproduction.
2) they really f*cking hurt when they sting. the most effective relief for the pain is ice. a most excellent reason ensure you take a well-stocked esky to the beach.
3) they live at the mercy of the wind and currents. the course of their voyage is determined by the curvature of the float and the resistance of the rest of the colony underwater. the float can project to right or to the left, each form being influenced differently by the wind. thus the sailing angle of one form may lead to it to be washed up on the shore but others, sailing to the opposite side of the wind may well escape.
4) a severe bluebottle sting is no laughing matter, often causing major respiratory distress in humans. however, despite their ability to inflict major pain on lge mammals like humans, the bluebottle colony primarily feeds on teensy-tiny surface floating crustaceans and other planktonic fauna.
5) when bluebottle floats dry out in the sun they go all crispy and make a really cool popping noise when you stand on them. (note: freshly washed up bluebottles also pop nicely but the tentacles have a tendency to flick onto the top of your foot, which hurts like the blazes - definitely not recommended.)