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Stingless Jellyfish . . . Is there such a creature?

   Are you afraid of jellyfish? Would you still swim if you knew and actually see thousands of jellyfish inhabiting the water? I am pretty sure you won't.


Much has been said and written about how dangerously fatal can a jellyfish sting to humans. I even read some articles that there were people who naively swam on the beach, got stung by these soft brainless creatures and cost their lives. Because of this, I had reservations and apprehensions of being near it and much more letting this gelatinous umbrella shaped creature in contact with my skin. But, there is a place in the Philippines where you can find a "gentle jellyfish"  believed to be harmless. More known to be found in Palau, these white spotted golden yellow jellyfish (Mantigias cf Papua etpisoni) were also seen in Sohoton, Bucas Grande Islands at the municipality of Socorro Surigao del Norte. These stingless jellyfish has become one of the popular tourist attraction of this island.

After our Sohoton Cove tour, we went back to Sohoton Visitors Center to transfer to a smaller banca (boat) manned by a paddler because bigger boats won't fit to pass through the small opening of the Jellyfish Sanctuary. Going there will take about 30 minutes paddling from the reception center. Good thing the banca had an extra paddle, I was able to helped which took us a few minutes shorter to reached the sanctuary. Paddling was never that hard because there were only two of us (me and the paddler) on the boat. I actually had a great time doing that activity.



Just like in Sohoton Cove, the water in the Jellyfish Sanctuary was calm and motionless.  The only sound that we heard while cruising around were the gentle rippling noise produced by the water and the paddle with the whimsical singing of the birds nesting on the abundant foliage that grew on the limestone wall surrounding this lagoon.  The serene waters was crystal clear that you can actually see the corralled walls under it.  The sight was enchanting.



 Excitement quickly shifted to awe and amazement at the sight of these golden stingless jellyfish, swimming with their young ones and randomly shows itself on the surface as if inviting us to swim with them.  Sadly, swimming in the sanctuary was already prohibited since late 2011.  But our tour-guide has brought us somewhere near Tiktikan Lake where we actually was able to swim with these "gentle jellyfish" and with the transparent bluish one's that were visible only by using a clear swimming goggles.  If you were not wearing one, then its existence can only be felt as their bodies and tentacles gently brushed your skin which gives you a little eerie slimy feeling.




The whole experience of communing with these creatures was overwhelming and definitely an unforgettable one.

11 comments:

  1. Nice... How far is it from Enchanted River?

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    1. Hi, Enchanted River is in Surigao del Sur while Sohoton is in Surigao del Norte, approximately 3-4 hours travel via Butuan. =)

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  2. What a cool experience to bond with bunches of jellyfish plus you can hold it with your hands although it is slimy... hehe other people were afraid of jellyfish but it is cute when it is moving underwater.

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    1. Hi Jon, I was actually having second thoughts to dive or not and I'm glad I did =)

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  3. WOw! been there bro.- last month :) Sayang medyo bitin tour namin. The best month daw ang July pagpunta dyan :) Sohoton is truly enchanting!

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  4. This is the first time that I know that there are jellyfish that doesn't sting because it has no tentacles.

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  5. It would be fun to swim with the jellyfish. They are really amusing to look at with their unique structure.

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  6. wow, it's a beautiful creature of God.

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  7. wOW this looks so amazing. Thanks for sharing this experience.

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  8. I would still be reluctant to touch them. Yikes. And beautiful!

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