Jellyfish

Jellies in the Jungle

I often try to imagine the open ocean world of the jellies, a place where the physical barriers are completely different than on land. Like floating in space, life in the ocean is a three-dimensional and any direction can be navigated with ease. Being free from the constraints of a surface means you aren’t required …

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And the Award Goes To…

No jellyfish took home any accolades from the Academy of Motion Pictures last week (though a movie feature of Spineless would no doubt rock the box offices.) Nonetheless, recently a couple species of jellies have been officially bestowed some sweet superlatives. Last month, Craig McLean, a scientist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina ended …

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Philosophy and Jellyfish

Jellyfish have a subtle way of pushing your mind to the philosophical. Maybe it’s because they are hard to understand and lack of understanding easily morphs into abstraction. One night this month, Keith was out at an evening meeting, so I threw food on the dinner table, mac and cheese, olives (my kids love olives), grapes–stuff …

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Who’s Been Naughty?

Last week, the mauve stinger, Pelagia noctiluca, which has terrorized beaches in the Mediterranean for years, swarmed into a salmon farm, Loch Duart, off the Scottish coast. The berry-sized jellies slipped through the nets that hold the salmon and lodged themselves in the gills of the fish. Loch Duart is located on one of the oldest aquaculture …

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Jellyfish Spawn

Years ago I visited the Aeolian Islands, the tiny chain that looks like dirt flinging off the the Italian boot after it’s just kicked Sicily.  I remember blue seas, incredible calimari, stony beaches, and being simultaneously terrified and thrilled to see ash tossed from an active volcano on the island of Stromboli. This week footage from the seas …

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Mysterious Technicolor Jellies

It’s been a colorful week in new jelly species. News media in Australia has been abuzz with stories of a crayon-purple jellyfish that’s been washing up on beaches from the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane to Port Macquarie, half way to Sydney. The peculiar jelly has a bell about the size of a dinner plate and …

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Man o’ War

Like me, Iraqi-British artist Athelier Mousawi has found a muse in jellyfish. He paints huge canvases bursting with bright colors and boundaries that scream around curves and screech to a halt at corners. This tension between intertwined organic forms meticulously restrained by clean edges creates a harmonious chaos of color and contour …

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Peanutbutter Jellyfish

When you think jelly, don’t you naturally think peanut butter? So it’s conceivable that if you are someone who spends your days working with jellyfish, the wild idea to try to grow your brood on peanut butter might flit through your mind. But the fact that aquarist Zelda Montoya tried it, and …

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Jellyfish in Japan

Pregnant

I walked through the grocery store with a secret. I put the individual cups of mac-and-cheese that I found so repulsive, but that my kids clamored for, in my cart. Still, inside I was smiling. I swung my cart past the boxes and boxes of Technicolor cereal, pulled a cartoon-emblazoned brand off the shelf, and nonetheless gloated. I loaded snack-sized metalized polypropelyne bags of air-riddled, cheese-flavored corn puffs on my pile–and my heart soared anyway. Because I knew something no one else around me knew.