Facts About the Jellies


Sasha Jacobs

Lexington, KY. A drawing of a jellyfish hidden in a student’s things.

Is your favorite animal a jellyfish? Because it should be. They are truly fascinating creatures, so here are some facts about them.

Jellyfish are squiggly little (or not so little) animals that live in saltwater. Jellyfish are considered fish because the term fish is centered around having a backbone, while jellyfish are considered invertebrates. They tend to be around 16 inches wide to three feet. However, they can also be huge. The Lion’s mane jellyfish can extend its tentacles as far as 120 feet, but the biggest is the titanic Nomura’s jellyfish, which can weigh up to 440 pounds and have a diameter of 6.5 feet. Lion’s mane jellyfish can be found in the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans, while the Nomura´s jellyfish is found in the waters between China and Japan.

Jellyfish are also thought to be older than dinosaurs. They may have been alive for 500 million years or even 700 million. The oldest jellyfish fossils found in Utah date back to when the Western U.S. was underwater.

Jellyfish can be very dangerous. Certain Box Jellyfish can kill a human in just a few minutes. It is possible to survive being stung, but it is extremely painful and can lead to a full-body reaction. They can be found in warm waters across the globe and have long, thin tentacles and clear bodies. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence supporting that if you pee on a jellyfish sting, it will reduce pain levels, and it’s possible that bacteria-filled pee can worsen a sting. Instead, submerge the sting in warm water and get to a doctor quickly.

Now for the most interesting fact, some jellyfish are practically immortal, like the Hydrozoan Turritopsis Dohrnii jellyfish. Right before this jellyfish dies, it rebirths a copy of itself with the same DNA to exactly replicate the original, so while it’s not exactly immortality, it’s a pretty cool feature.

You might not have known much about jellyfish before, but now you do. They are very interesting creatures. From learning to cheat death to being old as dinosaurs, there’s so much more than what meets the eye.