Australian photographer Tim Samuel was swimming off Byron Bay, New South Wales, several months ago when he came across an unusual site: a small fish seemingly trapped inside a jellyfish.
"The fish was trapped in there, but controlled the Jellyfish's movement," Samuel commented on Reddit. "The fish would have a difficult time swimming in a straight line, the Jellyfish would knock him off course though, and every now and then it would get stuck swimming in circles."
"I just let nature takes it's course," he added. "It was a difficult decision though, I did think about freeing him."
While many initially assumed the fish was slowly being digested alive (a reaction made more concrete by its less-than-hopeful grimace), fish biologist Ian Tibbetts told the Australian Geographic that the unlikely pairing was probably in self-defense. He revealed that the fish appeared to be a juvenile trevally, a species known for hiding inside stinging jellyfish to avoid predators.
Samuel himself within the last day posted fresh evidence for this strategy, sharing a video he received from a diver who recorded in 2013 the incredible relationship between the two species.
"I too have witnessed this rare phenomenon," wrote Brent Collins. "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."
While some juvenile trevally depend on jellyfish in their youth, it's apparently not something that lasts. As adults, the species can reach lengths of anywhere from 2-5 feet.