They’re not going to win any prizes for Most Attractive Creature or Greatest Household Pet, but, jellyfish are actually pretty remarkable creatures if you think about it. They have long been given little credit when it comes to the ecosystem of the ocean, but, do jellyfish actually play a bigger role than we think? Well, the long and short of it is yes! But in order to discover more, we must first understand them.
On the surface, and indeed below it, jellyfish seem like nothing more than floating sacks of jelly with some stingers attached. So, what is their secret? How do they survive and thrive in the harsh and unforgiving climate of the deep ocean? Well, jellyfish are highly complex creatures, and we should find out as much as we can about them and how they work.
Jellyfish are adaptable
One of the big reasons why jellyfish have managed to endure and survive as long as they have is because they are adaptable. They have spent years evolving and adapting to life in the ocean, and regularly make use of the ocean floor as a place to rest, hide, and eat. In fact, we have also recently discovered that not all jellyfish swim with the current – some actually swim against it. Jellyfish are sentient lifeforms, they know what they need to do to survive, and they aren’t afraid to do it.
They might be immortal
Yes, you really did read that right, jellyfish might actually be immortal! Okay, some jellyfish have a lifespan of, like, a couple days, but there is one curious species in particular that actually seems to be immortal! No, it’s not the Vampire Jellyfish! The species is called Turritopsis dohrnii, and the discovery was made by a German marine-biologist called Christian Sommer. Basically, Sommer was collecting samples and keeping them in Petri dishes to study, when he noticed something strange. The sample he had collected, rather than dying like the rest, was actually aging in reverse, cheating death by regressing to the earliest stage in its natural development. Basically, this jellyfish was Benjamin Button, and that’s pretty remarkable!
They have barely any natural predators
Another thing we can credit to the survival and continued endurance of jellyfish is that they seem to have barely any natural predators. In fact, the only creature we know that feeds on jellyfish specifically is the leatherback turtle. That aside, they don’t seem to be a major food source for other creature. To be fair though, we wouldn’t like a diet consisting of rubbery jellified salt water either – hardly the most nutritious thing in the world! The fact that jellyfish are so unappetizing actually improves their survival chances and allows them to live longer, even though they have limited functions, and only one source of defense.
Jellyfish are hardly the most exotic of creatures, but, they are certainly among the most interesting in the ocean. They defy nature by surviving in conditions not many other creatures can, which is pretty impressive considering how many different animal species live in the ocean. We’ve learned a little about the secrets of jellyfish in this article, but there is still so much to learn about them and the way they live. We hope this happens soon, after all, they could be the key to unlocking the secrets of immortality!