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Between massive swarms and habitat invasions, jellyfish are changing ecosystems, stinging beachgoers, and causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Using high-tech underwater gadgets, scientists are racing to understand one of the most common, mysterious and destructive sea creatures
They are made of 95 per cent water and have no brain, but some experts fear a jellyfish invasion could be on the way.
Last week, a wave of jellyfish forced one of the world’s largest nuclear reactors to shut down - a phenomenon that marine biologists believe could become more common.
Experts are now claiming the creatures could be more dangerous than first thought, wreaking havoc in our oceans, posing a threat to human life and blocking up large coastal structures.
And they now believe it may now be too late to stop them.
A study by University of British Columbia in Canada last year found increasing jellyfish populations in 62 per cent of the areas they looked at, including East Asia, the Black Sea, Hawaii and Antarctica
Mnemiopsis, is able to lay eggs when it is just 13 days old without needing a mate. It soon is able to lay 10,000 eggs per day. It also can eat over ten times its own body weight in food and can double in size each day.
the zombie jelly, is seemingly immortal. When its particles disintegrate, cells escape and form an entirely new jelly. This period of growth happens within five day.
Last November, a 10-mile-wide and 42-foot-thick swarm of baby mauve stingers (Pelagia noctiluca) decimated Northern Ireland's farmed-salmon population. Overnight,120,000 fish were reduced to a floating mass of carcasses by billions of the small jellies native to warmer waters thousands of miles to the south. The salmon, which were killed by stings and oxygen deprivation, had a market value of $2 million.
Since 1996, massive "blooms" of mauve stingers have also plagued Mediterranean beachgoers. In previous decades, the jellies showed up along the French Riviera every 10 to 12 years and remained for about four years before retreating. But that pattern changed in the 1990s as the time span between the infestations shortened and jelly numbers shot up. In 1996, the Mediterranean coast experienced its largest blooms ever. The jellies retreated in 1998 but returned in even greater numbers just five years later. In August 2006, 60 million jellyfish reportedly swept up on Spanish beaches and stung more than 70,000 people, causing swollen limbs and allergic reactions. Beaches were closed throughout the entire region.
We disrupted marine ecosystems by overfishing and acidification. The jelly fish are the result.
Might as well eat them if they're in abundance.. they're cheap!