Jellyfish Fun Facts for KidsJuly 16, 2018
- Tentacly Speaking, Jellyfish Aren't Really Fish. Classified as Cnidaria, Jellyfish go through four phases of development: Polyp, Strobila, Ephyra, and the most recognizable jellyfish characteristic: Medusa. That's like humans going through puberty four times.
- No Brains, No Bones, No Problem. Who needs them when you have a set of nerves at the end of your tentacles that detect touch, temperature and salinity? They simply float around living life based on automatic reflexes.
- The Pulp Isn't Picky. Everything on the menu looks good to this passive predator. As long as the prey is small enough, jellies are happy to consume everything from plankton to crustaceans, and even other jellyfish.
- Global Swarming. With over 2,000 species, jellyfish live in habitats that can be found in all oceanic waters. Their habitats can range from frigid depths to tropical surfaces. A group of jellyfish, known as "blooms" or "swarms" make their home wherever they roam.
- Sting Theory. Every wonder how jellyfish eat? With a paralyzing sting of their tentacles, jellyfish sense their wounded prey and pull it towards their mouth, which also happens to be where they digest. Luckily, they don't have a brain to realize how gross that is.
- Jellyfish to Jelly-Food: A delicacy in different parts of the world, jellyfish average $15 a pound. With hundreds of metric tons eaten every year, jellyfish consumption is a multimillion-dollar industry.
- One Sting to Rule Them All: With enough venom to kill sixty people, keep an eye out for the box jellyfish so its sting doesn't turn you into a statistic.
- Bequeathing Pain: Even in death, jellyfish leave behind painful stings to whoever touches their tentacles.
- Acing the Test of Time: Roaming the oceans for more than 650 million years has earned jellyfish the title of oldest multi-organ animal on earth.
- Jellimmortal: The Turritopsis Nutricular, or immortal jellyfish, earns its nickname through a process called "transdifferentiation," which allows it to revert back to its polyp state and avoid death. Now all this jellyfish needs to figure out is how to avoid taxes.
While videos and facts can pack an amazing sting, there's nothing like seeing jellyfish firsthand. Experience their mystery and majesty at our Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, where a pane of glass is the only thing between you and earth's resident aliens.