Sea History 122 - Spring 2008

Page 42

Man-o~-W~r e.J!Jl.J(lb UU ~ /7--~c:-., ~0 ~ rvnr~ ~:h7:1~foh::::~e::;::,:, N '- ./ ~ \ -~~-7f?!o)17!l!} /J;7(2 0

after the has died. Flanders and Swann wrote this dmy:


Particularly ... Portuguese. • ""-'•":',..'"'<-.,,!J-.~z;:;Jr-v c. -.....,_~ --:::.--- . :-._~-;s-~;:;;;_ l) ""if~?(~!N~ ?.0\ '-~ The Man-of-War's "sail" is a float filled with gas. ,lf"'r~?<.e>V~i1v' 1 1) 'v"-$ · ::·~ ~7 . I.' · ' 't In 1853, a traveler onboard a ship commented that ack in 1883, a young man named Morton MacMichael the float collapsed when to uched. A sailor onboard, III traveled on a merchant ship from Philadelphia to San who had no respect for the Portuguese Navy, explained Francisco. One morning, as they were sailing in the tropi- to him that the Man-of-War deflates in heavy weathercal Atlantic Ocean, they steered through "vas t numbers" of which is how they got their name. The sailor said that the strange animals. MacMichael wrote: "Passed through a fleet sea jelly "takes in all sail, or goes chuck to bottom, when it of. .. those renowned little creatures of the jelly-fish species, 'gins to blow a spankin' breeze." Others believe they got their that spread their tiny film-like sails in delicate shades of pink name because their floats look like helmets of Portuguese conand blue, and cruise about over the waves .... The sunlight quistadors or like the old Portuguese ship known as a caravela playing on the thousands of risin g and falling sails made a redonda. The By-the-Wind Sailor grows no larger than the palm pretty picture." With a bucket, MacMichael caught one of the delicate jellies and brought it on of your hand. It eats tiny animals and fish eggs. Like deck. Whenheturnedaway from Po g.TVbVCS~ MA1'-l- o f-\NAf!_ the Man-of-War, its sail is at one of two angles for its his catch for a moment, the ship's (rH YS A. L-I P... \:>\..\'{SAL-\ s) whole life. It can only sail in on e direction away from _ -} 1 S the wind, while its "sister,'' cat darted over, dipped her paw in 0 h bk d .h o'( n-\cWl)-1\) Al\..OR .h. ·1· h h d. JI( ( vel.-E'.:.L-L..A VcL-EL-l..A) wit 1ts sa1 mt e ot er it e uc et, an ran away wit the sea jelly. The cat "dropped( ~ .;.L_ 7 ,;; - /) v rection, can only travel the it with a terrified yowl, and .,. , - ·/~ opposite way. There are regular reports vanished into .. . the galley, as ' . ., > r,. '\•AIL-'' from all over the world of millions of though a dozen dogs were at her '<--~. By-the-Wind Sailors washed up on beaches ~ __/ when there's been a change in the wind heels. During the rest of the day ~ she sat in a co rner, uttering plaintive ~ ~ c ·---=:..~ ...,., /. . - '~ direction and currents. The little / ~ 1 ~ \ ( (~ \\\ \ , . . meyows, and alternately rubbing her /, '~).1~ .-.,~ ~sea jellies couldn't steer off the cheeks on the deck or scraping h er _,.,.;~ ,. ~ rocks! 3 GAS -f'!L-L-E:D Scientists, however, think swollen tongue with one of her front · paws." F LoA-"C that both the Man-of-War and the MacMichael's animal was a Portu61\-S-f l 1.-L-to"O By-the-Wind Sailor do have some con trol Tue es in how they adjust their bodies to the weathguese Man-of-War, which is one of rwo types of sea jellies with parts that act as _ _ I er. By-the-Wind Sailors have also evolved an IEtlTACLf:S W\11-t amazing structure to their sails. To survive sails to move them across the water. The second kind is much smaller and is called (NEl</\,1\-\ocys Ts in heavy winds, th ey . . STi~GlNbC~L. tS 'I . 'J a By-th e-Wmd Sailo r. We find them both .1 are tnangular (so the in warm waters, but they can float to colder latitudes when pressure is closer- - ·, _.. _ _ strong currents and winds push them there. to the surface), slightly flexible Sea jellies have no bones, are 95% water, and are mostly (consider how a tree bends in clear. Both the Man-of-War and the By-the-Wind Sailor are a storm), and shaped in an actually colonies of different individuals that act as one unit. "s" (to increase its strengthThe Man-of-War can be tinted pink, blue, and purple. try this with a piece of paper). Though By-the-Wind Sailors Some people call it a "Blue Bottle." It can grow up to one foot long and has tentacles that can spread down into the water don't sting nearly as much as the well over fifty feet. On these tentacles are stinging cells, Portuguese Man-of-War, if yo u do fi nd which capture and kill its food-mos tly fish. These them on the beach, it's best to not handle them with your-....''·-..... , stingers are powerful enough that they can kill bare hands. And maybe keep yo ur cat away from them , too! a grown man and can be poisonous even Next issue: a huge white gobbler of shrimp-like things. !,



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