The Attack Of The Jellyfish
They are invertebrates, 90% water and helpless against ocean currents, but jellyfish could, in 20 years, make beaches a no-go zone. They have already wreaked havoc, massive numbers gathering at the coasts of Japan, Scotland, and Israel.
Two weeks ago, at a power plant in Hadera, Israel, which uses seawater to cool its reactors, a jellyfish invasion clogged the filter, forcing workers to take drastic measures. And at the end of last month, jellyfish clogged both reactors of the Torness Power Station in Scotland, forcing them to shut down. Around the same time, at the Shimane Plant in western Japan, the cooling system of one nuclear reactor was blocked after jellyfish infiltrated it.The population of the jellyfish is continuing to increase, and though we’re not close to world jellyfish domination, the outlook is grim.
This sudden increase in the jellyfish population can potentially be quite catastrophic if not checked, according to experts. But how has this sudden problem risen? Where have all these jellyfish come from? And what could happen in the future?
The explosion in the jellyfish population is theorized to be due to three reasons. First, global warming. The eternal problem has a part to play in the increase of jellyfish as well. Since jellyfish are cold-blooded creatures, global warming which results in warmer water temperatures suits them well and makes for quicker growth.
The other pair of reasons accounting for the increase in jellyfish has to do with predator and prey. An increase of nutrients in the ocean from fertilizer run-off, coupled with growth of algae results in more little critters and zooplankton, the jellyfish’s food. The third, overfishing. Big fish and the major predators of the ocean are being decimated, which means a predator-free ocean for the jellyfish.
Can the trend be reversed? Fishing industries in many places have already been destroyed, but there is some hope. For the natural cycle to continue, jellyfish need predators, so a limit in fishing would go a long way. Stopping fertilizer run-off would be another way to stop these jellyfish from putting humans in “a world of hurt” in the next few decades.
Jellyfish: Stingers of the Sea
These picturesque creatures have existed on the face of this planet for over 650 million years. They preceded the dinosaurs, and outlived them. To us, they are menacing creatures of the sea, yet intriguing, and sometimes beneficial. But to them, we are just another species that will come and go.
Jellyfish live in waters all around the world. There are 2000 species of jellyfish and counting. They are actually plankton, because all though they are capable of movement, they are helpless against the ocean currents. Members of the phylum Cnidaria along with sea anemones and others, jellyfish have only a nervous system, with no brain.
The jellyfish is a perfectly symmetrical creature, also coming in a variety of sizes, from less than an inch to larger than 7 feet, with 100 feet tentacles! Those menacing tentacles have the ability to sting, containing paralysis toxins, and are deployed when the tentacles come in contact with something.
The jellyfish is clumsy on land, but a beautiful, photogenic creature in the ocean!