Every photographer dreams of making a unique photoshoot. The dream has recently come true for Australian photographer Tim Samuel. He admits to be a great “ocean lover”. “Whenever the conditions are good I try to get into the ocean as much as possible. There are lots of turtles around Byron Bay, so this particular day I was hoping to find some turtles to swim with and take the photo.”
Tim was snorkeling with local videographer Franny Plumridge off Byron Bay, in New South Wales, when he came across an amazing phenomenon – a fish stuck inside a jellyfish. “I really had never seen anything quite like this,” Samuel told the Huffington Post. “Lucky I had my camera on me, this seems like a once in a lifetime find.”
Although the unique photoshoot was made in December, it went public after the publication of popular Instagram account, DiscoverOcean.
According to Samuel, the fish managed to control some of the jellyfish’s movements from within. “It was interesting to see how the two of them moved through the water,” he said. “The fish propelled the jellyfish, but wobbled around and was being thrown off course by the jellyfish, and sometimes was forced to swim in circles.”
Experts try to determine the fish. Ian Tibbetts, a marine biologist at the Centre for Marine Science at the University of Queensland, supposes that it must have been juvenile trevally, distinguished for its habit to hide among the stingers of certain jellyfish to protect themselves from predators.
“It’s difficult to tell whether disaster has just struck, or whether the fish is happy to be in there,” Tibbetts told Australian Geographic. “Although by the photographer’s description of the fish swimming, my guess is that it is probably quite happy to be protected in there.”
Dr. Robert Kinzie III, a professor of biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, shares the opinion of Tibbetts and says that the fish is a carangid (the fish family of which trevally is member). The juvenile animal is not actually stuck – it “settles out under the umbrella of a jellyfish” and is likely capable of finding food while there as well.
Dr. Brian Bowen, a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, comes out with his own suggestion: “The arrangement is similar to the clownfish use of anemones”.
Tim Samuel admits that he hesitated at first whether to free the fish or not as he really felt bad for it. “I contemplating freeing the fish, but in the end decided to just let nature run its course, which was a difficult decision for me to make.”
I’m loving hearing where you are all from and where you saw this posted, keep it up, it’s putting a big smile on my face It is crazy how much attention this little guy is getting. When @franny.plumridge and I stumbled upon it we knew we had found something special, but had no idea just how unique and rare this sighting was. I’m completely blown away by all the attention it is getting from all over the world.