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- Moon jellyfish, Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC

Moon jellyfish, Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC

Another view from another aquarium. These dreamy jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) kept our children fascinated for about 15 minutes, hypnotically floating and drifting through the inky darkness.

Jellyfish are fairly common along the North Carolina coast. Our water temperatures are rising each year, causing their population to increase at a rapid pace. Appalachian State University now has a website (called Jelly Stalkers) dedicated to tracking jellyfish sightings along the NC coast; it’s certainly worth a quick browse. Their interactive map lets you view sightings by species or by month.

Capturing the delicate patterns and lacy tendrils in such low light required cranking the ISO up to 3200. I was worried about color noise in the image while I was shooting, but the result was better that I expected. The luminosity of the creatures let me keep the shutter speed at 1/125, which helped matters significantly.