500 – 700 million years ago, even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, jellyfish were drifting along on ocean currents. Jellies are among the most spectacular and mysterious marine species in the world. They are the oldest multi-organ animal and have morphed into more than 2,000 different jellyfish species. Some live in freshwater, but jellies can be found in every ocean. Some sea jellies survive close to the surface while others dwell in extreme depths, glowing with bioluminescence in the pitch black water near the bottom of the ocean. Many scientists and deep ocean explorers expect to discover countless more beautiful jiggly jellyfish as they explore deep sea canyons, and other extreme water conditions near underwater volcano vents and in the harsh frozen temperatures of arctic waters.

 

Jellyfish going with the flowJellyfish go with flow and have drifted along on ocean currents for millions of years, even before dinosaurs lived on the Earth. Few marine creatures are as mysterious and intimidating as jellyfish. Though easily recognized, these animals are often misunderstood. Sea nettles often have riders on their bodies, sometimes offering a place for small living organisms to be able to move around and sometimes being the food source for the organism. There is a reddish tint on the bell of the Pacific Sea Nettle or West Coast Sea Nettle which can span over 3 feet. This is a distinctive characteristic along with maroon tentacles that identify this particular species of jellyfish. The tentacles can be up to 15 feet long. Photo #1 by luna

jellyfish and tropical fish

Inside the bell or umbrella-shaped body is the mouth opening and jellyfish tentacles hang down from gelatinous bodies. They use the stinging cells of their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat it. Jellies mostly float on ocean currents, but if a jellyfish squirts water from its mouths, then it can propel forward. Photo #2 by animaltheory

Butterfly Jellies“Butterfly Jellies,” titled the photographer. Photo #3 by the_tahoe_guy

Blue Ocean and JellyfishIf there are aliens on our planet, it might be NOAA, and not NASA, to discover that in the unexplored depths of our oceans . . . this summer one leading British space scientists claimed aliens do exist and they look similar to huge jellyfish. Photo #4 by NOAA’s National Ocean Service

Mauve Stinger Jellyfish AustraliaThis is a “Mauve Stinger” in Australia, but the most feared jellyfish in Australian waters is the box jellyfish. It is “the most venomous marine animal known to mankind and its sting is often fatal.” Photo #5 by animaltheory

Medusa CassiopeaMedusa Cassiopea which live primarily in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo #6 by Pietro Columba

Diplulmaris antarctica‎ jellyfish under the Ross Sea ice, AntarcticaThe National Science Foundation funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, which supports research in aeronomy and astrophysics, biology and medicine, geology and geophysics, glaciology, and ocean and climate systems. (Date of Image: Oct. 14, 2005) Diplulmaris antarctica‎. Photo #7 by Henry Kaiser, National Science Foundation

Crown JellyfishCrown Jellyfish “are distinguished from other jellyfish by the presence of a deep groove running around the umbrella, giving them the crown shape from which they take their name. Many of the species in the order inhabit deep sea environments.” Photo #8 by Bing

Sea Jellies Gallery from Manila Ocean ParkSea Jellies Gallery from Manila Ocean Park. Although jellies are soft-bodied and lack a skeleton, making fossils rare, evidence suggests that jellyfish predate dinosaurs by some 400 million years. Photo #9 by FoxyReign

Papuan Jellyfish (Mastigias papua) in a special exhibit at the Monterey Bay AquariumPapuan Jellyfish (Mastigias papua) in a special exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This aquarium also has a huge bioluminescence and fluorescence jellies exhibit. Photo #10 by Stevenj

 

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