Understanding Jellyfish
April 7, 2018

Jellyfish have been drifting through the oceans for over 600 million years. That’s before even the dinosaurs were #1 on the food chain. They usually just pulse along with oceanic currents. Therefore, you find them everywhere! Whether its deep water or a shallow reef, whether its the warm tropics or near the poles. There will be Jellyfish.

Now that it’s Jelly season in Pondy, here’s some info about them!


SO WHAT ARE THEY?

Funnily enough, Jellyfish aren’t fish. They’re actually Medusozoans or marine invertebrates of the phylum Cnidaria. Jellyfish possess a gelatinous bell, and tentacles that trail behind them. Inside their bell-shaped body is a mouth through which they both eat and discard waste. Jellies also have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them.

They use a very efficient propulsion system that has inspired the designs of several underwater ROVs. Jellies propel themselves by squirting water from their mouth and pulsating their bell. Their tentacles trail behind their smooth bodies and sting prey, which they then eat.


JELLIES ARE COOL! HERE’S WHY

Like cucumbers, Jellies are also 90% water. Some Jellyfish are a delicacy in many cuisines!

They’ll never sting a human on purpose. That’s because they don’t possess a brain. Jellyfish actually have a loose network of neurons called a nerve net, which coordinates responses. Although if they do accidentally sting you, it can be quite painful or even dangerous.

Stinging cells called nematocysts are present along the entire length of their tentacles. Nematocysts are little stinging darts that fire whenever the tentacle contacts the surface of its prey.

A Jellyfish sting can be anything from annoying to deadly. The infamous Box Jellyfish possesses enough venom to take out 60 adults and can kill you within minutes. But the Sea Nettle Jellyfish, which dominate our coastline don’t do more than singe.

Then again, many jellyfish hardly or don’t sting humans, and some species don’t even have tentacles! You’ll find Jellyfish on the menu if there are Turtles, Jackfish, Rabbitfish, Bannerfish or even other Jellyfish around. Jellies themselves dine on fish, shrimp, crabs, tiny plants, and other Jellyfish.


SOME USELESS BUT AWESOME FACTS

Jellies can eat peanut butter and use it as a source of protein! Researchers from Texas created a saltwater/ peanut butter concoction and fed it to Moon Jellies. Weirdly, they found this acceptable.

The researchers wrote: “We would love to claim we conducted this trial with noble purpose, but the truth is that we just wanted to simply see if it could be done.”

In other news, Jellyfish blooms have been responsible for shutting down several nuclear reactors. Nuclear reactors often rely on ocean water intakes as a coolant. The Jellyfish swarms can clog the intake pipes, forcing facilities to stop operating temporarily.


STAY TUNED FOR MORE!

Hope you folks enjoyed our latest post. 

Until next time,

Stay away from the Stingers!

Tinku, Lucy, and Beast 

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