Massive Jellyfish Swarms are Turning Resorts into Jellytoriums
Posted on December 13, 2008
The National Science Foundation says climate change is allowing jellyfish populations to swell to dangerous numbers. These jellyfish blooms - or swarms - cause big problems from overruning fisheries to ruining resort sites for tourists.
In recent years, massive blooms of stinging jellyfish and jellyfish-like creatures have overrun some of the world's most important fisheries and tourist destinations--even transforming large swaths of them into veritable jellytoriums. The result: injuries (sometimes serious) to water enthusiasts and even occasional deaths.Here are some more highlights from the study's findings.
- 1/3 of the total weight of all life in Monterey Bay is from gelatinous animals.
- 3 minutes after a person is stung by a deadly box jellyfish, s/he may be dead.
- 8 years after fast-reproducing comb jellies invaded in the Black Sea, they dominated it.
- 20 to 40 people are killed annually from box jellyfish stings in the Philippines alone.
- 400 vast Dead Zones in world oceans are too polluted for almost all life except jellyfish.
- 1,000+ fist-sized comb jellies filled each cubic meter of water in Black Sea jelly blooms.
- 45,000 eggs may be released daily by a single jellyfish.
- 500,000 people are stung by jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay annually.
- 500 million refrigerator-sized jellyfish float into the Sea of Japan daily during blooms.
Jellyfish swarms have also damaged fisheries, fish farms, seabed mining operations, desalination plants and large ships. And proving that jellyfish can be political animals, knots of jellyfish have done the work of anti-nuclear activists: they have disabled nuclear power plants by clogging intake pipes.The National Science Foundation really does have the headline "Jellyfish Gone Wild!" You can read it here. It's a funny headline but it's really a shame that jellyfish are going wild and ruining resort areas and shutting down nuclear reactors.