Jellyfish are intriguing creatures. They’re not something you typically want to encounter at the beach because of the threat they pose. However, that doesn’t make them any less fascinating, especially once you know some of the surprising facts about them that exist.
Jellyfish have a simple body structure
How jellyfish look in the water is very different from how they appear on land. That’s because these creatures are 95% water with little solid structure, so when they’re on the surface, they essentially become a heap of cells. Jellyfish don’t have the organs that many animals do, but rather an internal gastrodermis and an external epidermis. The latter contains a single opening through which food comes in, and waste goes out.
They don’t have to be alive to sting
Usually, most animals that pose a threat are no longer an issue once they pass the way. You can’t always say that about jellyfish, though. Even if they’re no longer alive, they’re apparently still capable of stinging you. Provided that the sea creature is wet, the sting cells can remain active. That means if you encounter one that’s washed up on the beach, you still need to take care when you’re around it.
One species is effectively immortal
Plenty of people fear the prospect of passing away. If given the option, they’d probably choose to be immortal. Unfortunately, such a thing isn’t possible… Or is it? If one species of jellyfish is anything to go by, staying alive indefinitely isn’t out of the question. The Turritopsis dohrnii is capable of reverting back to a polyp every time it gets close to the end. This repeated cycle of life essentially means it’s immortal, so could it hold the key to humans living forever?
Jellyfish are a delicacy in parts of the world
Given their tendency to sting, a dish of jellyfish might not be at the top of your list. However, these creatures can be a delicacy, despite their violent nature. In parts of Asia, blubber jellyfish are relatively common. Of course, the chefs there know how to prepare the food so as not to harm themselves or others. If you were contemplating trying one yourself, you’re best off visiting somewhere where jellyfish don’t look out of place on the menu.
They reproduce alone and with others
You’ve probably never put much thought into how jellyfish reproduce. However, it’s worth considering given how it goes down. Apparently, the creatures release their reproductive material into the water, where it forms larvae. These develop into polyps, which can then reproduce on their own into multiple jellyfish. Thousands of these can be created in a day. It’s perhaps no wonder that when Nasa sent several thousand polyps into space for an experiment, they ended up with 60,000 jellyfish.
With their basic body structure and ability to attack when they’re not alive, jellyfish are definitely one of the more unique creatures in the world. You might still be afraid of going near one, but hopefully, this has shown you just how fascinating they truly are.