Just had to share these absolutely face-melting images of these ethereal creatures – Physalia utriculus, Blue Bottle or (Indo-Pacific) Portuguese Man-of-War (not to be confused with Physalia physalis, Atlantic Portuguese Man o’ War).
These gorgeous yet threatening siphonophores were photographed by Matty Smith of New South Wales, Australia. While on the surface they may appear to be jellyfish, siphonophores are actually comprised of specialized colonies of animals called “zooids” that are simply physiologically incapable of existence without one another (awww).
What’s truly mesmerizing about these images is the “over/under” composition – their float gleaming above the surface against the landscape and clouds, while the electric blue tentacles drape across the deep – a marrying of both worlds that makes for something really uniquely incredible in terms of perspective.
I implore you to take the time to check out more of Matty’s work – the UK born photographer has a serious attraction for creatures of the deep and an eye for light-play that results in some really beautiful imagery.