Millions of dead jellyfish are washing up around the world

The by-the-wind sailor jellyfish (Velella velella) spends its days drifting aimlessly through the open sea, gorging itself on an endless buffet of complementary morsels.

Every year, on beaches around the world, colonies of sailor jellies become stranded by the thousands. There, they dry up and die, becoming a “crunchy carpet” of dehydrated corpses covering the sand. Sailor jelly strandings are common when seasonal winds change course, but some — like a 2006 event on the west coast of New Zealand — are on another level entirely, with the jellyfish corpses numbering not in the thousands, but in the millions. During spring months from 2015 to 2019, dead jellyfish littered more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of continuous coastline

These exceptional jellyfish die-offs coincided with a massive marine heat wave known as “the blob.” Beginning in 2013, surface waters off the Pacific coast began heating up to levels never recorded before. The intense warming continued through 2016, tampering with every level of the marine food chain and resulting in mass die-offs of seabirds, baleen whales, sea lions and other creatures. According to a new study, it’s likely that the blob drove the mass die-offs of by-the-wind sailor jellyfish reported during those years.

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Jellyfish Population Surges

Human activities are allowing jellyfish numbers to surge in the world’s oceans, which a new U.N. report says are undergoing profound and dangerous changes.

French researchers say that the population of jellyfish is increasing because of man-made factors such as overfishing, deep-sea trawling and the heating of the oceans in the deepening climate crisis.

Overfishing is eliminating some of the jellies’ natural predators, such as tuna and sea turtles, especially those that feed on plankton, giving the jellyfish more of the plankton to feed on themselves and thrive.

Whale Stranding – South Carolina, USA

South Carolina wildlife officials say five pilot whales were found stranded on Edisto Beach Saturday morning. Beachgoers found the mammals on the shore and tried to rescue them, but four of the whales died and at least two of them were calves. Officials said one of the whales was dead before crews could get to the beach to help and some of them had to be put down because they were too sick or injured.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Scientists observed the first-ever evidence of praying mantises hunting fish.

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A family on New Zealand’s North Island were enjoying an early morning walk on Pakiri Beach last week when they came across a monstrous, gooey blob with a gelatinous grape-colored center. The glob was an enormous lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata).

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A remotely operated vehicle named Hercules filmed a rarely seen jellyfish that looks like a cross between an alien and a pinkish makeup bag.

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Jellyfish Bloom

Increasing blooms of jellyfish around the world may be triggered by the construction of offshore structures such as gas and oil platforms and wind farms.

The structures appear to provide jellyfish polyps with something to attach to, increasing chances of survival.

Researchers found that the more-frequent moon jellyfish blooms in the Adriatic corresponded to a rise in its number of gas platforms.

A construction boom in waters off China could be responsible for the massive increase in Nemopilema nomurai — one of the world’s largest jellyfish and a growing nuisance to fishermen.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Researchers working in the South Pacific have captured stunning footage of a deep-sea jellyfish that looks like a flying saucer with tentacles. Marine biologists working on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer spotted this beautiful jelly at Utu Seamount in the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.



Bumblebee Set to Become Officially Endangered


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed listing a species of bumblebee as an endangered species, the first bee species to be granted such federal protection in the continental United States.

The rusty patched bumblebee – the workers of which can be identified by a small rust-colored mark on the middle of their second abdominal segment – was historically widespread along the east coast of North America, from Quebec down to Georgia, and across much of the midwest as far west as the Dakotas. However, says USFWS, since the late 1990s, the species’ numbers have decreased precipitously, and its range is now a mere 8 percent of its historical extent.

According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the bee faces numerous threats from disease, pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change. The society says that the species’ recent decline — and that of other, closely related, bumblebees — was likely initiated by the spread of pathogens from commercial bees (which are raised and sold to pollinate greenhouse tomatoes and other crops) into the wild population.

Additionally, there’s concern over the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides within the species’ range. These insecticides have been implicated in declines of other bee species and were introduced around the time that the rusty patched bumblebee entered its downward spiral.

Rare frog goes extinct

A rare tree frog — the last documented member of a species relatively new to science — has died at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The body of the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog was discovered in its enclosure Monday morning during a routine daily health inspection.

n 2005, the three groups sent a team of scientists to Panama to collect live animals before a disease called chytridiomycosis struck the area. Among the frogs they brought back to Atlanta was a species of tree frogs (Ecnomiohyla rabborum) that hadn’t been seen before. Identified in 2005 by Zoo Atlanta herpetology curator Joseph Mendelson, it was later named for conservationists George and Mary Rabb. In time, the disease did arrive in Panama, and many of the frogs disappeared.

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Jellyfish Invasion

Swarms of invasive comb jellyfish threaten to devastate fish stocks in the Adriatic Sea.

While not dangerous to humans, population blooms of the jellies have devastated fisheries in the Black Sea.

The invaders arrived in oil tanker ballast waters from the Atlantic off North America in 1982, then spread rapidly without any natural enemies.

Since then, they have cost the seafood industry billions of dollars as they spread from the Black Sea to the Caspian and Baltic seas, and now the Adriatic.


Jellyfish to flock to British beaches

Global warming is reputedly causing swathes of jellyfish to flock to British beaches as warmer seas attract the stinging menaces. The number of blooms, when jelly fish mass together, are on the rise in coastal waters, according to the Marine Conservation Society.

Some scientists argue that jellyfish numbers increase and then decrease normally every 20 years or so, however, others believe and these increases are linked to factors such as pollution, over-fishing and possibly climate change.

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Giant Unnamed Jellyfish Found on Australian Beach

A huge specimen of an unnamed species of jellyfish washed up on a beach south of Hobart, Australia, last month.

A photo taken of the nearly 5-foot-wide creature by Josie Lim after her family came across it caught the attention of experts at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), who are in the process of naming the new type of lion’s mane jelly.

These jellyfish “look like a dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath … they have a really raggedy look to them,” said CSIRO expert Lisa-ann Gershwin. She called the find a “truly magnificent animal.”

Recent years have seen huge blooms of jellyfish in Tasmanian waters, and Gershwin says scientists are not sure why.

She told reporters that such a population explosion is likely to be having a significant impact on the marine ecosystem off southeastern Australia.



Jellyfish Jam Swedish Nuclear Reactor Cooling

One of the world’s largest nuclear power reactors was forced to shut down after masses of jellyfish clogged pipes carrying seawater that cools the plant’s three reactors and turbine generators.

Officials at Sweden’s Oskarshamn nuclear power station scrambled to shut down reactor No. 3 after tons of the common moon jellyfish became caught in the pipes.

Oskarshamn spokesman Anders Osterberg said the jellyfish entered the pipes at about 60 feet below the surface of the Baltic Sea.

But he said they had not gotten through the plant’s filters or come anywhere near the reactor.

All of Oskarshamn’s reactors are boiling-water types, like those at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, which suffered meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Nuclear power plants are typically built next to large bodies of water because they require a steady flow of cool water.