Found throughout the world’s ocean, from surface waters to the deep sea, jellyfish are some of the most abundant organisms in the sea. These spineless, gelatinous, ancient animals have roamed Earth’s waters for hundreds of millions of years, and play an important role in marine ecosystems globally. Learn more with ‘4 Surprising Facts About Jellyfish’.
With the opportunity to observe a jellyfish up-close, as it gently moves through the water column, one can truly see the intricate yet simplistic beauty they possess. While some jellyfish definitely pack a powerful punch, there are many species of jellyfish (and their close relatives) that either don’t sting at all, or are mostly harmless to humans. From cold waters to warm waters, here are four top locations around the world known for amazing opportunities to dive with jellyfish.
Prince William Sound, Alaska
Every summer, along the coast of Alaska, thousands and thousands of moon jellyfish aggregate in the clear waters of Port Fidalgo in Prince William Sound. These jellyfish blooms typically stretch from the surface, down hundreds of feet. With remarkable water clarity, compared to many of the surrounding areas, divers that sink beneath the surface here are sure to see blue-tinted moon jellyfish as far as the eye can see – with no worries of being stung. You might be lucky enough to see a purple moon jellyfish from time to time, or even a larger, predatory lion’s mane jellyfish hanging on the outskirts of the bloom. To see what this unique and exceptional jellyfish encounter is like, check out the video below!
Jellyfish Lake, Palau
Within Eil Malk Island of Palau is one of the most well-known jellyfish populations in the world. Commonly referred to as ‘Jellyfish Lake’, this 12,000 year old marine lake is home to hundreds of thousands of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake each day. This beautiful species has evolved to no longer sting, but instead get their energy from symbiotic algae that live in their tissues (similar to corals). Keep in mind that scuba diving in the lake is not allowed, so jellyfish lovers that visit here will need to stick to the surface.
White Sea, Russia
Divers that venture beyond the Arctic Circle, and slip beneath the surface of the White Sea in Russia will almost certainly get to observe several different species of jellyfish (and their close relatives). Whether the surface of the water is liquid or solid (ice), each season of the year provides opportunities to dive with jellies. In the summer, meet moon jellyfish and lion’s mane jellyfish on a long drift dive. In autumn, winter, and spring, meet several intricate and beautiful species of hydrozoans (close jellyfish relatives) as they pulse gracefully through the water. Year round, have your macro lens ready for meeting different species of stalked jellies (tiny, intricate jellyfish relatives that rest ‘upside down’) and lots and lots of epic comb jellies. If planning a trip, a PADI Dry Suit Diver Certification will help you to stay warm and safe as you observe the incredible variety of jellies here.
Tojoman Lagoon, Philippines
The Bucas Grande Islands, of the Philippines, is home to the enchanting Tojoman Lagoon. This jellyfish sanctuary, and its huge population of non-stinging jellyfish, brings visitors from around the world to gently dive in and be captivated by the calm beauty of the underwater environment here. Millions of spotted jellyfish, covered in cute little white spots, are found here throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the warm summer months.
Jellyfish and their close relatives come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and live in all oceans around the globe. Whether you visit these epic jellyfish diving locations, or find your own, happy diving to all you jellyfish lovers out there!
Cover Photo By: Alexander Semenov