Planet Earth

Are Jellyfish Taking Over the World?

The brainless blobs are booming. All scientists know is it isn't good.

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Photo Credits: Kevin Raskoff (c) MBARI 2003

This lab photo highlights the bumps that give S. ventana its common name, "bumpy." Each one contains hundreds of stinging cells, used for capturing and holding on to prey.

Photo Credits: Kevin Raskoff (c) 1998 MBARI

A. grimaldii is a narcomedusa, typically found at depths of 1,000 meters or more. Very little is known about this beautiful jellyfish.

Photo Credits: (c) 2002 MBARI

Photographed about 1000 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay

Photo Credits: George Matsumoto (c) 1989 MBARI

To humans, this ctenophore is a beautiful light show. To tiny sea animals it's a predator with long, stinging tentacles.

Photo Credits: George Matsumoto (c) 2000 MBARI

Not an alien spacecraft but a deepwater jelly in Monterey Bay.

Photo Credits: George Matsumoto (c) 2000 MBARI

Medusa jellies are shaped like disks or bells, with a fringe of stinging tentacles. Most range from 1 to 16 inches in diameter.

Photo Credits: Kevin Raskoff (c) MBARI 1999

The genus Praya probably contains the longest animals in the world; their tails or "stems" can grow up to 50 meters. They are very abundant at times and are top predators in some midwater food chains.

Photo Credits: Kevin Raskoff (c) 1999 MBARI
Photo Credits: Kevin Raskoff (c) 1998 MBARI

A fairly common midwater jelly, sometimes a dominant predator in the middle depths (200-400 meters) of Monterey Bay.

Photo Credits: (c) 2001 MBARI

This Solmissus jelly is swimming in hunting position, with its tentacles extended in front of its bell.

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