Dizzying Video Shows the Moment a Jellyfish Gets Caught in a Bubble Vortex

Here's a jellyfish video with a twist ending … actually, make that 40 or 50 twists.

In a new, 1-minute clip taken by a snorkeler off the coast of Spain, a wee jellyfish ventures too close to an air-filled bubble ring rising up on a strong current. When the jelly touches the ring, the bubble doesn't burst — instead, it sucks the unsuspecting medusa into its swirling heart and sends the jelly spinning like a blurry, pink cyclone.

According to Victor Devalles, the photographer/snorkeler who took the video, he blew the bubble ring in hopes that it would pass around the jelly, providing a different, slightly more majestic photo op.

"Those bubble rings are just air in a vortex current, so the jellyfish was stuck in that stream twisting and spinning so fast," Devalles told the U.K. news site Mirror.

Luckily, Devalles added, the jelly didn't seem to be injured by its wild ride and swam off shortly after the ring stopped spinning.

While jellyfish get caught up in strong currents all the time, they're pretty good at reorienting themselves afterward. In a 2015 study in the journal Current Biology, researchers attached GPS devices to several jellyfish and watched as they moved with or against ocean currents. The researchers found that jellyfish are able to actively swim against currents when they feel that they are starting to drift. This natural current-avoidance behavior could be responsible for the phenomenon of jellyfish "blooms," in which millions of individual jellies converge on a single area, the researchers reported.

If the jellyfish in Devalles' video ever makes it to such a meetup, at least it'll have quite the story to tell.

Originally published on Live Science.

Brandon Specktor

Brandon is the space/physics editor at Live Science. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.