Australian photographer, Tim Samuel, captured photos of a small fish inside a jellyfish while free diving in Byron Bay in December with his friend. He posted the image to Instagram in December, which since went viral, with more than two million online views.
Nobody quite knows how it managed to get inside its marine cousin, but despite its obvious disadvantage the fish was still able to control the movements of the equally hapless jellyfish.
“The fish was trapped in there, but controlled the jellyfish’s movement,” Samuel wrote on Reddit. But he said the fish would have a difficult time swimming in a straight line. “The jellyfish would knock him off course though, and every now and then it would get stuck swimming in circles.”
One of the images shows the fish looking rather worried, with wide eyes and a down-turned mouth, but of course that’s what fish look like. Still, the expression on the golden fish’s face, clearly visible through the transparent jellyfish, appears to be one of fear.
Much of Byron Bay, where Samuel is based, is a designated marine park, and is protected from fishing. As a result, Samuel says marine life is thriving.
He says he’s been in touch with marine biologists through the nature publication Australian Geographic, who say they’ve never seen anything like it. “At the time I knew I’d stumbled upon something pretty special.”
Samuel said he had considered whether to “set the little guy free”, but ultimately decided it was best to “just let nature run its course.”