While there are certainly some people who only wish to see the dark side of things, others spot little silver linings wherever they go, even in situations as dire as the world is in now due to coronavirus. Even though the majority of people are somehow affected by the virus and have to stay home due to lockdown, some get to peek at the outside world and marvel at nature reclaiming our cities.

Biologist Andrea Mangoni recently spotted an unbelievable sight in Venice—a jellyfish peacefully gliding through the canals that have cleared up due to reduced boat traffic during the lockdown.

Biologist Andrea Mangoni recently spotted a jellyfish gliding through the crystal clear waterways of Venice

While we already had our chance to marvel at the thriving Venetian fish population, biologist Andrea Mangoni recently spotted another creature that’s not usually seen in the canals—a barrel jellyfish. He said the low tide combined with low traffic made it possible to see the animals return to the canals.

Mangoni said the low tide combined with low traffic made it possible to see the animals return to the canals


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“Sometimes you just have to change your point of view to admire a ghost moving through the Venetian palaces. Thanks to the exceptional calm of the canals of Venice due to the absence of boats, this [barrel] jellyfish (rhizostoma pulmo) swam in the transparent waters near the Baretteri Bridge, and seemed to slip through the reflection of the buildings,” wrote Mangoni on Instagram along with the video he shared.

However, this is not the first change Venetians noticed


Image credits: Marco Capovilla


“I was able to film a jellyfish that was swimming close to the San Marco square, only [a] few inches below the water surface,” he said. The waterways in Venice have been crystal clear for quite a while now due to the coronavirus lockdown that’s still ongoing in Italy.

The city has been enjoying crystal clear waters in the canals for over a month now

Image credits: Marco Capovilla

While people are claiming that reduced water traffic has allowed wildlife to “come back” to the Venice canals, the mayor’s office insists it was always there. “The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom,” a spokesman told CNN news. “It’s because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.”

Since the mud is not being stirred around by the boats, people are able to see the fish that live there

Image credits: Marco Capovilla

Regardless of the reason, both Venetians and people of the Internet are pleased about the change the city is experiencing. Usually overwhelmed by tourists, Venice is now allowed to take a deep, peaceful breath. “Seeing so many fish in the canals was extremely rare before the quarantine. I hope we’ll learn from this tragic time and that when this is over, Venice will be able to strike a balance between tourist crowds and cleanliness,” said local resident Martina Bettoni.


“Thanks to the quarantine, we are experiencing a cleaner environment,” said a life-long Venetian, real estate agent Marco Capovilla

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