Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for . . .

Olindias formosa1
Image:Flower hat jelly by I, KENPEI [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 

Jellyfish. I am not a fan. Every year my family vacations on Kiawah Island, which is off the coast of S.C. about thirty miles south of Charleston. The beach is lovely, but usually peppered with the carcasses of these slimy scourges. My children love playing in the waves and I do join them, reluctantly. When I was in my twenties, I brushed against a jellyfish in those waters, and the pain is something I have not forgotten.

Here are some interesting things about these cringe-worthy critters from Wikipedia:

1. They've been lurking in our seas for somewhere between 500 to 700 million years, making them the oldest multi-organ animal.

2. A group of jellyfish can be called a bloom, swarm, or smack.

Image: Lion's Mane Jelly by Dan Hershman http://www.flickr.com/photos/hershman/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hershman/253773774/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3. They range in size from 1 mm to 2 m (6.6 ft). The longest jellyfish, the lion's mane jellyfish, have thread-like tentacles that can be 37 m or 120 ft long. (See image above.) The giant Nomura's jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg (440 lbs)!

4. They have one opening for both eating and expelling waste. (shudder)

5. Jellyfish populations are growing because of overfishing which decreases the number of their predators. They also eat plankton that contains fish eggs and larvae, reproduce rapidly, and grow fast.

Image: Rehydrated jellyfish strips prepared with soy sauce and sesame oil by Roland from (optional) (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Some countries like China, Japan, and Korea consider jellyfish a delicacy. A company in Israel, Cine'al, is using them to produce highly absorbent material for diapers, tampons, and paper towels.

7. The effect of a jellyfish sting on a person can range from tingling to intense pain to death. To avoid dying from a sea wasp sting in Australia, wear pantyhose. This jellyfishes' tentacles are activated by chemicals on human skin. Pantyhose blocks their detection of these chemicals.

8. What do you do if you're stung at the beach? Wash with fresh, cold water or ice it down? WRONG! This can actually cause any nematocysts (stinging cells) in your skin to release more venom. Similarly, you shouldn't reach for rubbing alcohol, or have someone pee on you (old wive's tale).

Vinegar is a better bet. Meat tenderizer might work, but you shouldn't leave it on your skin for more than 10 minutes and should not use this remedy for babies, young kids, or anyone with sensitive skin. Also take an antihistamine.

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? Would you consider eating one?


  1. No and no :) Jellyfish make me shudder. There is that lake where jellyfish have lost there sting and people can swim with them - the whole idea gives me the heebeejeebees :)
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  2. I got stung by one in the Gulf of Mexico. It was not fun. I've never eaten them though and am not curious to either.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

  3. I've never gotten stung by one of these, but I have seen them peppering a beach I was swimming at. I guess it never occurred to me there could be more in the water.
    Melanie Schulz from
    Melanie Schulz.com

  4. As if these things weren't freaky enough, yikes! They're quite beautiful though, in their own weird way.

  5. I go to the aquarium just to see these amazing creatures. They're better than TV!

  6. My hubby's been stung by a jellyfish. Not something I want to experience.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  7. Vinegar - fun!
    If there are so many of them, let people eat them and make stuff out of them.

  8. Well thank you one again for visiting my blog that is very kind indeed, as you will note this year on the A to Z I am only visiting visitors not because I am lazy but because I am a grumpy chap who shouts BAH HUMBUG at cute kittens and small children

    I used to work offshore in the oil industry as a ROV pilot and one of the things I still remember is seeing a huge flock herd or bloom of thousands of jellyfish that must have taken a couple of hours to pass the ROV (robot Sub) it is something I know I will never see again unless I come back in the next life as a jellyfish although I would prefer not too.

  9. I have never eaten a jellyfish and probably never will. However, I do know that they are considered a delicatessen here in some parts of Europe also.
    Thank you for a very interesting article. Now I know what to do if one ever bites me.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  10. I don't think I want to eat one, and I haven't been stung by one either. I do think they're fascinating to watch, although I'd rather not get too close to one.

  11. Hi, Spent hours one day watching jellyfish in a large cylinder at a marine park. They floated up and down and were mesmerizing. Left me feeling boneless and relaxed.
    Lived near the beach when I was young, was stung several times with no lasting results, other than a craving for plankton.
    BTW- Stormy is my Grandgnome.
    Suz from Stormy’s Sidekicks!
    Suzi's Ice Box Art

  12. I like jellyfish while visiting the aquarium -- that's the only time!

    Yvonne V

  13. We get them here at the Jersey shore. They creep me out. I am very careful when I have the grandchildren visit.
    I couldn't imagine eating one!

  14. 120 ft tentacles! That makes me shudder! I find jellyfish interesting to watch but also very creepy looking.

  15. Beautiful. I wonder what secrets they really hold. Interesting, you might find Sam's blog interesting too.

  16. Interesting. They are pretty, but I remember when we used to go to the Gulf Coast every summer. There were lots of jellyfish in the ocean, and they stung. I stayed away from them.

  17. I've always wanted to go to Kiawah Island. I tell my husband about it! His corporate headquarters is in Charleston, so I think I need to tag along with him on his next business trip and journey across to the island!

  18. Pantyhose? Well, at least my very white legs would look tan!



I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)