Pacific Sea Nettles of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

April 2021

Get to know the beautiful and mysterious Pacific sea nettle found near NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in this week's #EarthIsBlue video!

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[Screen fades from black to a clip of a round, orange jellyfish moving slowly through the water. There are around a dozen jellyfish in the distant background, and soothing instrumental music plays softly. In a blue banner in the corner of the screen, white text appears]

Pacific sea nettles are a type of jellyfish that frequent the waters of your West Coast national marine sanctuaries.

[Camera cuts to different shots of a group of pacific sea nettles, showing their bells and long tentacles from different angles]

Their reddish-brown bell can grow up to three feet wide, with tentacles reaching 15 feet or more!

[Groups of pacific sea nettles swim slowly through the water. A shot of the jellyfish is shown from below, swimming amongst a kelp forest with the sea surface above. Then a closer shot is displayed, allowing the camera to focus on a jellyfish’s tentacles]

This species is the most abundant of the large jellies found in the California current.

[Pacific sea nettles swim amongst a school of fish]

Sea nettles are important predators, drifting with the currents capturing small fish and plankton in their tentacles.

[Another close-up shot of a jellyfish’s tentacles are shown]

Like all jellies, sea nettle tentacles are packed with tiny barbed stingers that inject a paralyzing toxin into their prey.

[Dozens of pacific sea nettles swim into a kelp forest]

When currents carry sea nettles into kelp forests, they become prey for a variety of other species, including sea turtles, fish, crabs, and sea stars.

[Pacific sea nettles in various stages of decay float through the water. A group of starfish consume jellyfish tentacles]

In recent decades, large “blooms” of sea nettles, and other jellies, have increased in frequency and size along the West Coast.

[Dozens of pacific sea nettles swim through the open ocean]

While blooms can benefit species like sea turtles that feed on jellies, they can negatively impact other species and be a nuisance for fishers, divers, and surfers.

[A diver struggles to swim through a group of dozens of jellyfish while taking photos]

Next time you're visiting a West Coast national marine sanctuary, see if you can spot a mesmerizing Pacific sea nettle gently drifting through the water.

[Camera cuts to different shots of pacific sea nettles swimming, then the screen fades to black. The Earth is Blue logo appears, followed by the website “” Then, the logos for NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries are pictures. Credits are displayed]

Cinematography: Paul Chetirkin (NOAA)
Editing: Paul Chetirkin (NOAA)
Music: Universal Production Music

[Screen fades to black once more]