Fish Trapped Inside — or Controlling — A Jellyfish?

Tim Samuel, an Australian photographer, took a rarely seen photo of a fish swimming inside a jellyfish. At first sight, it seems that the fish is trapped inside the jellyfish. National Geographic asked a couple of experts to comment on this phenomenon and they theorized that many types of animals associate with jellies, with the jellies providing some kind of ecosystem services that benefits the fish.

So, it looks like this could be just a “normal” day for this fish to use a jellyfish for locomotion (and perhaps also for protection and feeding). In fact, another photographer, Brent Collins, sent in a video (scroll down to view) that seems to show just such a behavior.

This is a never before seen photo of the 'Fish Trapped in a Jellyfish'. What do you think?

A photo posted by Tim Samuel (@timsamuelphotography) on

Another photographer, Brent Collins, has a video that shows such a fish “exit the Jellyfish, swim back inside the Jellyfish, and apparently steer the Jellyfish at will.”

@franny.plumridge and I were starting to think we were the only ones to witness anything like my Fish Trapped in a Jellyfish photo. That was until this afternoon when I received a very exciting email "I too have witnessed this rare phenomenon. I captured it on video while snorkeling at Double Reef beach in Guam in 2013. Over the course of several minutes I watched the fish exit the Jellyfish, swim back inside the Jellyfish, and apparently steer the Jellyfish at will, and repeat. I researched the unusual behavior when I first encountered it, however could not find anything on the internet to explain the behavior. Perhaps others will communicate their experiences and a collaborative understanding of this behavior will immerge" – words and video from Brent Collins

A video posted by Tim Samuel (@timsamuelphotography) on