Peanut Butter and Jellyfish: Moon Jellies Fed Peanut Butter in Experiment

Posted on February 26, 2014

Peanut Butter Jellyfish


Deep Sea News reports that researchers fed peanut butter to baby moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park in Dallas. The researchers wanted to determine if peanut butter could be a viable protein source for the jellies. A report on the unusual experiment was published here in Drum and Croaker, a journal for aquarists. The peanut butter and jellyfish report begins on page 14.

250 young moon jellyfish were given a mixture of blended preservative free peanut butter and salt water. The jellyfish grew at an almost normal rate from eating the peanut butter mixture. They also turned brownish after consuming it as can be seen in the images above. The researchers, P. Zelda Montoya and Barrett Christie, write in their report, "jellies that had recently fed displayed a distinct brownish hue owing to their high degree of peanutbutterocity."

Christie told National Geographic, "There's a significant amount of protein in [peanut butter] and the jellies were able to grow at almost a normal rate. Honestly, we didn't think it would work."

The researchers also say in their report: "We herein report on what we believe to be the first known unholy amalgamation of America's favorite lunchtime treat and live cnidarians. The success of our trial group of Aurelia on this experimental diet was surprising, and we hope this ridiculous experiment illustrates that unconventional approaches in husbandry are at the very least, worth trying once."

Photo: P. Zelda Montoya and Barrett L. Christie/