The barrel jellyfish – gentle giant of the oceans | Wildlife


Do you pay with cryptocurrencies, dig into blockchain and drive a Tesla? You’re an early adopter and a futurist, right? So, of course you’re voting for Jelly.

These animals are taking over the ocean. They are the great survivors of evolution and the Anthropocene. They thrive in an era of ocean warming and algae blooms, and when humans wiped out larger marine predators. Jellyfish can survive even when oxygen levels in the ocean drop due to human pollution. And we will embrace their future, our grandchildren who will stuff their faces with jellyfish and potato chips.

British seas are often too cold for jellyfish to form swarms, but the barrel jellyfish is Britain’s largest jellyfish and is most often found in south-west seas.

The giant, translucent, mushroom-shaped bells can grow to the size of a garbage can lid. Cute trash can lids in shades of yellow, pink and blue. The lower end of the bell is edged in purple and contains the jelly sensory organ. The stubby arms with eight ruffles underneath look like elongated cauliflowers. These contain small stinging tentacles that feed food into the surrounding small mouths. It has hundreds of tentacles. This sting is designed to disable zooplankton (tiny sea creatures), so they can’t harm us.

Barrel jellyfish bells, a favorite food of leatherback turtles, can grow to the size of a trash can lid.

Watch this gentle giant swim pulsating in the blue depths, captivating us with its voluptuous curves and extraterrestrial strangeness.

If you’re a traditionalist and a history buff, Tark Jellyfish is also worth voting for. The jellyfish is a miraculous being that floats in the Earth’s oceans for more than 500 meters, has a body made up of 90% water, and can live without a brain, heart, or blood.

Sadly, we tend to encounter carcasses washed up on our shores during the early summer months. These jellyfish underestimate their own size and follow small prey into shallow water, where they become stranded or washed away by waves and tides.

In some parts of the world, people have been eating similar species of the Rhizomata order for thousands of years. Its pale flesh is enhanced with strong sesame oil and soy sauce, and is used in sushi, noodles, ice cream, and more.

However, this giant 35kg sea turtle is the favorite food of the world’s largest sea turtle, the leatherback turtle. Of course, they’re struggling to survive in an ocean full of plastic bags, which can deadly resemble their favorite food: jellyfish.

So please vote for Jelly. Vote for the great survivors, food for the sea gods, and the real thing instead of plastic bags.

  • Welcome to the Guardian’s UK Invertebrate of the Year competition. Every day from April 2nd to April 12th he will profile one of the amazing invertebrates that live in and around the UK. What invertebrates do you think should be included here? And at midnight on Friday, April 12th, voting will begin for our favorite invertebrate of the moment, and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 15th.



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