November 19, 2015
Portuguese Man-of-War, Australia
Photograph by Matthew Smith, National Geographic Your Shot
Its otherworldly appearance—especially when illuminated by the rising sun—is perhaps not the most bizarre thing about the Portuguese man-of-war. The animal is actually made up of a colony of organisms working together, with the gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, "sailing" above. Below are three more separate polyps, including tentacles that in some cases can extend 165 feet.
This picture was submitted to the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest. See others like it >>
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