During our final day on Islay we went for a short walk along the coast. We headed out from Bowmore (pronounced Bowmore, with the emphasis on the more) towards Gartbreck, in a southwesterly direction. The tide was in, giving us only a thin strip of sand to walk on for the most part, and sometimes not even that. This was a quiet stretch of coast; we saw nobody.
As one point we found a jellyfish, washed up by the tide. We had no idea what it was at the time, but after a little research back home I think it was a Lion’s Mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata. They are common in the North Atlantic and Irish Sea and so to find one here would make sense.
The Lion’s Mane is the largest known species of jellyfish there is. The one we came across was a small one, but suffice to say that in 1870 a specimen was found washed up in Massachusetts Bay with a bell 2.5 metres (just over 8 feet) in diameter and tentacles 37 metres long (that’s 121 feet). Its tentacular spread was a massive 75 metres (246 feet).
Although the main claim of the Lion’s Mane is its large size, I found the beauty to be in the detail.
Points in this post (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Bowmore: N 55° 45.425 W 006° 17.300
- Date of Visit: 10 September 2014