12 Fascinating Facts About Jellyfish

1. Some jellyfish can glow in the dark

Many jellyfish have bioluminescent organs, which emit light. This light may help them in a number of different ways, like attracting prey or distracting predators.

2. Jellyfish can clone themselves

If a jellyfish is cut in two, the pieces of the jellyfish can regenerate and create two new organisms. Similarly, if a jellyfish is injured, it may clone itself and potentially produce hundreds of offspring.

 

3. Some jellyfish are immortal

There are two phases to jelly life: the stationary polyp stage and the mobile medusa phase. It’s the medusa phase that we’re usually referring to when we talk about jellyfish. Typically, jellies start as polyps and develop into medusas, but the Turritopsis nutricula has earned it the nickname “the immortal jellyfish” for having the ability to travel backward to the polyp stage in times of stress.

4. Jellyfish can teach us about efficient underwater propulsion

The movements of bell-shaped jellyfish have provided researchers with a new understanding of propulsion. The flexibility of their umbrella-like bodies allow them to pulse upwards and downwards without expending much energy. Researchers have created biomimetic robots with flexible bells, which may one day lead to better undersea vehicles.

 

5. Jellyfish are a boon to cancer research.

Green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish species have transformed bio-medical research. The glow-in-the-dark proteins can illuminate specific proteins within the human body to track microscopic activity (for instance, cancer growth).

6. There’s a giant jellyfish called the pink meanie

The scientific name for this jelly is Drymonema larsoni, but its aggressive sting and distinctive color have earned it the nickname “pink meanie.”

7. Jellyfish don’t have brains

Instead, jellyfish have nerve nets which sense changes in the environment and coordinate the animal’s responses. Jellyfish are boneless, brainless and heartless. #spineless #trump #justsayin

8. Jellyfish movements inspired a new way to fly

It’s probably not that surprising that jellyfish have served as inspiration for swimming robots. However, it’s more unusual to see a sea creature inspire a flying machine, but that’s just what happened at New York University.

9. Jellyfish powder has been used to make salted caramel

Turtles eat jellyfish, and larger jellies may eat smaller ones, but are jellyfish fit for human consumption? A group of high school students in Japan came up with a salted caramel recipe that uses powered jellyfish. It’s not vegan for sure, but it is one way to deal with an invasive jellyfish bloom.

 

10. Jellyfish will eat peanut butter

Two Aquarists in Dallas, Texas created a saltwater/peanut butter mix and fed it to moon jellies. Apparently, the jellies found this mix to be an acceptable source of protein. “We would love to claim we conducted this trial with noble purpose, but the truth is that we just wanted to make peanut butter and jellyfish simply to see if it could be done,” the researchers write.

 

11. One variety’s tentacles can grow over 90 feet long.

The largest jellyfish species, the lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), can have tentacles that extend longer than a blue whale, the largest mammal on Earth.

12. A rare jelly is one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem.

Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientist captured a video of the huge Stygiomedusa gigantea.

The jellyfish has a disc-shaped bell than can be a metre wide, and has four arms that extend up to six metres in length.

The jellyfish has only been seen 114 times in the 110 years it has been known to science, say researchers.

Professor Mark Benfield from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, US, came across the creature as part of the Serpent project, a collaboration between marine scientists and energy companies, including BP, Shell, Chevron and Petrobras, working in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Still want to know more? We recommend JellyBiologist



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