Do You Know Jellyfish?

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Jellyfish are the most amazing creatures on Earth. They have evolved for over 700 million years. Now if that isn’t an achievement, I don’t know what is.

In those estimated 700 million years, they have evolved to live without brains or any organs. Having no brain, anyone would wonder how they manage to survive. You’d just think of them as floating squidgy things in the ocean, right?

But little do people know that they have intentions. They hunt, they breed, they swim and they live a productive life.

Due to their ‘No Organ Policy’, they have a simple body structure. They consist of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. Their umbrella-like body pulsates (much like your heart) to enable them to swim through the water.

Now, they’re simple creatures so they need some sort of reliable defense mechanism. Well, the tentacles come into action here. The stereotypical action that jellyfish do to their pray or humans swimming in the sea is to sting them. (Similar to an electric shock.) However, they don’t actually sting. They have microscopic spike-like hairs that come off their tentacles when they need to attack. These are called nematocysts, which release a venom which attacks the nervous system, organs and blood cells.

The Box Jellyfish’s venom is one of the most poisonous and deadliest poisons in the world. (And the Box jellyfish are the smallest species of jellyfish, being around a couple of centimeters in length.)

It puts the body into a shock and leads to fits. It can also put a lot of pressure on blood cells, which causes them to explode in your body. This is why a jellyfish sting irritates and hurts so much. To be stung by a Box Jellyfish, you must seek medical attention within a couple of hours. It can be fatal.

Luckily, Box Jellyfish are only found in areas such as the Caribbean, Australia and generally warm areas.They thrive in areas which have a lot of chemicals and toxic waste, which is rather weird. Which is why they love Japan and China so much…

The problem with jellyfish is that they reproduce sexually and asexually. So even without sexual intercourse they can breed. When people try to kill them, they go into a shock state and release all their eggs and sperm, and reproduce. So like Japan, where they are killing them by the hundreds, they are just giving millions of other jellyfish the chance to live. A rather big dilemma.

Their eggs and sperm can go years in the ocean while sinking to the bottom of the sea bed. There they breed asexually. It can take up to half a century (50 years) to actually be born. But the slightest change in temperature can cause them to be born in an instant.

Therefore, global warming and toxic waste is causing millions and millions of jellyfish to be born. Scientists estimations are that jellyfish will take over our oceans by 2100. That’s a long time away, but it’s possible for them to run our oceans.

And you thought global warming wasn’t a bad thing…

Image: nerd-alert

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