Window at the bottom – Marine organisms of Kefalonia & Ithaca


“Pelagia” or “the bather of the sea!”

It is a kind of jellyfish (more commonly known as “stuhtra”) with its surname. Its name is Pelagia noctiluca and means pelagic, meaning “the sea”, while the surname is of Latin origin and means ” the one who shines in the dark. ”

Her body is bell-shaped and on its periphery there are tentacles and various sensory organs. Each tentacle is covered with cells called quindocytes, which use them to provide food (it can kill small animals), but also for defenses (for the … irritating strangers).

They swim very slowly moving in such a way that they create currents (this movement becomes rhythmic with the opening and closing of their body), forcing their prey (small animals and zooplankton) to reach their tentacles. Most jellyfish have many small eyes in their bell toe, allowing them to have 360 ​​degrees of vision. Although they have no brain, their nervous system allows them to perceive stimuli, such as light and odor, and react quickly to them.

Problems of transient over-concentration on shore

The high concentration close to the shores, ie the massive appearance sometimes seen, is due to a number of factors such as saltwater salinity, sea temperature increase, and sunshine, factors that can affect the reproduction of jellyfish with the growth of its populations, while the decline in its natural enemies (dolphins, tuna, whales, sea turtles, etc.) may reinforce the phenomenon. Also, although it usually moves on the open sea, it is sometimes drifting near the coast by sea currents.

Although it causes dissatisfaction when we can not enjoy our beaches, the phenomenon is transient and should not be a cause of concern. The good news is that jellyfish in Southeast Asia are an important source of food, so maybe they will once again become inexhaustible ouzoemes in our country!

A misunderstood sting

Her sting is painful for humans, but Pelagia only stings when her tentacles touch the animals that feed, or if another creature touches them, as is usually the case with humans. That is, it’s not a premeditated malicious action on her part but an accident! I’m sure Pelagia will never care for a man, and she prefers to admire her for her beauty … and her dance moves !!

First aid

First we must try to avoid the areas and the days when jellyfish are observed in the water, and if we do not have a warning, we can use a mask or bathing goggles in the water to avoid contact with their tentacles.

In case of tweezing of tweezers, intense urination (irritation) is induced with acute pain, however, it is a temporary symptom and is generally not serious, but in some cases it can cause rashes, and some attention should be paid in particular to vulnerable organisms such as children and the elderly .

In case of contact, we remove the tentacles from our skin using a little soil from the beach, but not with bare hands and never using fresh water. A solution of vinegar with water has been shown to help neutralize urine-causing substances (toxin discomfort remains for several days) and ice reduces inflammation. Antihistamines should only be given on prescription, and in case of an allergic shock, we should contact the state health services (hospitals and health centers) or a doctor.

Our seas

Pictures come from diving in the waters of the Ionian Sea and more specifically of Kefalonia and Ithaca. They depict species that inhabit and enrich our own seas, those that are next to us, and hosts the inhabitants and visitors of our islands in the winter or summer.

The hidden wealth of the sea is no different from its biodiversity. And it is hidden not because it has not been discovered but because it remains unknown to most, so that in general it is considered a vast area empty of any interest, as well as the place of rejection of our waste.

The sea is a cradle for life, a food for man and a lung for the planet. But to protect it we must first meet it!

Telemachus Bitter

3 star CMAS scuba divers#

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