Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Jellyfish are Awesome (and Gross)!

For our debut article, we address a topic at the forefront of every scientific mind: "Are jellyfish awesome or gross?"

"Why Jellyfish are Gross!" by Alesha 

Jellyfish are so, totally, gross!  I can’t even begin to understand why anyone would think otherwise.  They don’t have hearts (how can anyone be interested in a creature without a heart?) and furthermore, neither species (Cnidarians nor Ctenophores) have brains. How are these horrible creatures even alive? 
Scientists assert that they existed before dinosaurs. As if one kind of jellyfish wasn't enough, they decided to evolve into bigger, nastier species. Too bad they weren't the favorite food of the Plesiosaur. When it's time for them to eat, jellyfish float in the water, dangling their long, nasty tentacles, waiting to shoot venom into anything that happens to swim by. They don't look anything like jelly. Instead, let's call them "See-Through-Nasty-Creatures-of-the-Ocean-that-Give-People-Nightmares."

"Why Jellyfish are Awesome!" by Priscilla

Alesha considers the lack of a heart and brain to be a negative trait, but I disagree. When creatures of visible size function devoid of organs, they deserve to be respected, not detested. Below you will find five additional reasons why jellyfish are awesome.
  • Their natural iridescence makes them a hit at dance clubs. (Bring out the disco ball, baby!)
  • Once scientists create a Peanut Butter Fish (it’s just a matter of time), they can be the best of friends.
  • They match my jelly shoes.
  • Fish can bounce on their backs. (For evidence, see Disney’s Finding Nemo.)  
And the number one reason why jellyfish are awesome:

They freak Alesha out. 

What do you think? Are jellyfish awesome? Or gross?


  1. I have to lean to the gross side, but in my defense, I was stung by one as a little girl. It got all wrapped around my leg. ICK! But if contained in an aquarium they can be quite mystifying.

  2. So, Jelly fish are awesome.

    Alesha, you might need to check out the box jelly fish. That little bugger has complex eyes with retinas and everything. This means that they may be developing brains to process the complex images that their advanced eyes are capable of catching. Currently they just use the blurry visions to navigate the mangrove forests. seriously. So, if they get brains are they less gross? Once they get a brain...next is a heart and then courage...right? They are so on their way!

    They also look awesome when they are lit up by black lights in the aquarium.

  3. You girls are hilarious! I'm still waiting for the SPS magazine. I'd like to be one of the first and of course if it isn't too much trouble, I'd love a signed copy! I miss you both:)

  4. Dana-no, if they get brains I will be horrified, I find them to be the worst creature on this plant, spiders come in second. Luckily Jellyfish remain in the waters where I don't have to see them. Except such places as: on some girls purse (why??), in Seven Pounds (umm, clearly he respects them b/c they're so terrifying), Sponge Bob Square Pants (although I've come to accept these cartoon versions), and just about every where else I look (such as NatGeo Photos of Day, like this morning. The sight of them makes me cringe and freak out, so I am afraid there is no cure for me.


  5. Dana, I think you are spot on with your reasoning. Once the jellyfish develop brains (and in doing so, develop plans to further torment Ale-Sha), I believe a trip to Oz will be in order.

    We miss you, too, Tina!

  6. What I missed in your article was a small section on the ever elusive irukandji. Full of - nerve (shall we say) - to make up for the lack of brain and heart power, they pack an amazing punch that according to wiki is very similar to a heroin withdraw (a psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending death). Growing at a phenomenal size of 5 mill (mainly tentacles), they have not been accessorized yet for fear that the products wouldn't sell (for who would recognize a 5 mill jellyfish on a purse???)...and hence, they have been dubbed useless and therefore are worthless! Which... once sucked into a tornado and replanted to Kansas = GROSS! {though still considered awesome by some drug loving followers}

  7. Wow lots of Jelly Fish information. I personally love them because of the way they freak Alesha out. I keep a picture of them on my phone so if she is really bad I can chase her around with it. I haven't had to use it yet but it is always lurking...

  8. I have to lean towards awesome. Turritopsis nutricula, the potentially immortal jellyfish, is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage. This means that theoretically they could live forever. Plus, they gross Alesha out. That alone wins them points in my book. :-)

  9. That alone does make it better! Sorry Alesha, but I have to agree with Jason on this one.