The Jellyfish Takeover

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Scientists are discovering that over-fishing in our oceans has caused China, Japan, California and Florida to have massive influx in the growing population of Jellyfish swarms. Last week, hundreds of people were treated on Florida’s coastline for Jellyfish stings after a bloom of jellies was reported. Officials regard warmer waters, the disturbance of ecosystems (which proliferate the rapid reproduction of jellies) and the wind current to be a welcome mat for these large numbers of the species to make coastal beaches their home.

One report from Laguna Beach, California claims people have been stung all over their bodies by ‘black jellies’ whose tentacles can grow up to 30 feet long.

Known to have a hydrostatic skeleton, the gelatinous body material that composes Jellyfish bodies contains 95-98% water, sexual and asexual reproductive systems, no respiratory system  (since their skin is thin enough and body is oxygenated by diffusion) and eyesight that only detect light or sunlight on the surface instead of distinct images.

 

So why are Jellyfish so dangerous?

This marine animal, which has roamed the sea for the past 500-700 million years, is the oldest multi-organ animal. The body of the jellyfish looks like an umbrella-shaped bell that trails with tentacles. Jellyfish are infamous for their tentacles, which are used by the carnivorous species to catch their prey and simultaneously the bell- shaped body pulsates for locomotion that moves them through the ocean. When the tentacles make contact with human tissue, they trigger millions of nematocysts, which pierce the skin and inject venom. The sting causes burning, itching, red marks and can sometimes be extremely toxic.

 A home remedy to try is vinegar and Benadryl… In some cases, the reactions can be so aggressive that hospitalization is necessary.

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