May 13, 2020
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20 facts about jellyfish: sleeping, immortal, dangerous, and edible

Probably any person who has visited the warm sea coast has encountered jellyfish (although some jellyfish are found in fresh water). In these creatures, on 57% consisting of water, a little pleasant . With direct contact, they are harmless as much as possible, although a simple touch on the jelly-like body of a jellyfish is unlikely to cause positive emotions. If you are not lucky, then a meeting with a jellyfish can result in burns of varying severity. There are fatal cases, but they are, fortunately, extremely rare. So it is more pleasant to communicate with jellyfish through a glass or monitor.

1. If we approach the classification of living organisms strictly, then individual animals with the name "Jellyfish" do not exist. In biology, this word is used to mean the life span of animals - 10 of thousands of species which combines the presence of stinging cells. These cells, secreting substances of varying degrees of toxicity, help the hunters to hunt and fight off enemies. Jellyfish in bowers appear through a generation. First polyps are born, then jellyfish are formed from them. That is, jellyfish are not born from jellyfish, therefore they are not considered separate species.

2. If you enter the names of representatives of the animal world into the Yandex search engine, in the first lines of the search you can almost always find a link to the Wikipedia page dedicated to this animal. Jellyfish were not honored. There is a link to the Medusa page, but this page is dedicated to the Russian-speaking opposition website based in Latvia.

3. Three types of stinging cells of jellyfish, depending on the mechanism of action, are gluing, piercing, and loop-shaped. Regardless of the mechanism, they throw out their weapons with great speed and in a very short time. The overload experienced by stinging thread at the time of the attack sometimes exceeds 5 million g. Piercing stinging cells act on the enemy or prey with poison, which is usually extremely selective. Adhesive cells catch small prey, adhering to it, and loop-like cells encompass future food at an incredible speed.

4. Those stinging jellyfish cells that use poison as a means of defeat can be considered the most effective weapon. Even a conditionally extremely weak (from the point of view of man) cell is capable of killing a creature that is hundreds of thousands of times larger in mass. The most dangerous for humans are cubomedusa. On the northern shores of Australia and the adjacent islands of Indonesia, a jellyfish inhabits a sea wasp. Her poison is guaranteed to kill a person in 3 minutes. The substance secreted by stinging cells of the sea wasp acts simultaneously on the human heart, skin and nervous system. In northern Australia, first-aid kits on rescue vessels are equipped with antidotes for bites of sea wasps, but often rescuers simply do not have time to use the drug. It is believed that at least one person per year from the bites of a sea wasp. As a counteraction to sea wasps, tens of kilometers of nets are installed on Australian beaches.

5. American swimmer Diana Nayyad for 30 years, starting from 1816 years, tried to swim the distance between Cuba and the US coast. The brave athlete made five attempts to overcome the record distance in km). Contrary to expectations, the main obstacles were not sharks, which simply swarm the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Nayyad twice interrupted their swims due to jellyfish. In September 1999, a single burn resulting from contact with a large jellyfish, which was not noticed by people accompanying the swimmer, made Diana stop the swim. Behind her already was 95 kilometers. In August 2012, Nayyad met a flock of jellyfish, received 9 burns, and retired only a couple of tens of kilometers from the US coast. And only the swim that took place 22 August - September 2 2013 of the year, jellyfish could not be interrupted.

6. The toxicity of jellyfish has long been used in scientific research. Poisons secreted by stinging cells are highly selective. Usually they (although there are exceptions) have a striking force corresponding to the size of a typical victim. Therefore, based on studies of stinging cells and poisons, drugs can be made.

7. Israeli startup Cine’al plans to launch a large-scale production of feminine sanitary pads and diapers. The raw materials for the startup's production are jellyfish. The idea that seems to lie on the surface is that since jellyfish are on 70% consist of water, then their connective tissue should be an excellent adsorbent, the first was put forward by Shahar Richter. An employee of the University of Tel Aviv and his colleagues developed a material called “Hydromash” by them. To obtain it, dehydrated jellyfish meat is decomposed, nanoparticles capable of destroying bacteria are added to the resulting mass. The mixture is processed into a durable, but plastic material that absorbs a large amount of liquid. Gaskets and diapers will be made from this material. This method will allow annually utilizing thousands of tons of jellyfish annoying vacationers and energy. In addition, Gidromash completely decomposes in just a month.

8. There can be many tentacles in a jellyfish, but there is only one hole in the dome (the exception is the Blue jellyfish - this species has an oral hole at the end of each of the tens of tentacles). It serves both for nutrition, and for the removal of vital products from the body, and for mating. At the same time, in the process of mating, some jellyfish perform a kind of dance, during which they weave the tentacles, and the male gradually pulls the female towards him.

9. The remarkable writer Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle is known, in addition to his mastery, for the fact that he made many mistakes, such as hearing snakes, in descriptions of representatives of the animal world. This does not detract from the merits of his works. Rather, even some absurdities make Conan Doyle's works even more interesting. So, in the story “Lion's Mane,” Sherlock Holmes reveals the murder of two people by a jellyfish called Hairy Cyaney. The burns caused by those killed by this jellyfish looked like traces from the blows of a whip. Holmes with the help of other heroes of the story killed cyanide, dropping a piece of rock on it. In fact, the Hairy Cyanea, which is the largest jellyfish, despite its size (cap up to 2.5 meters in diameter, tentacles more than 30) long) can not kill a person. Its poison, designed to kill planktonic and jellyfish, causes a person only a slight burning sensation. Hairy Cyaney is a danger only for allergy sufferers.

03. Medusa Turritopsis nutricula from the point of view of human ideas about life can be considered immortal, although scientists avoid such big words. These jellyfish live mainly in tropical seas. After reaching puberty and several mating cycles, the remaining jellyfish die. Turrotopsis, after mating, returns back to the state of the polyp. Jellyfish grow out of this polyp, that is, the life of the same jellyfish continues in another form.

09. Back in the second half of the 19th century, the Black Sea was famous for its abundance of fish. It was actively and without much desire for the conservation of species by fishermen from all coastal countries. But in the second half of the twentieth century, stocks of fish, especially small predators, such as anchovies and sprats, began to melt before our eyes. Where whole flotillas were engaged in catching, prey remained only for single vessels. According to the established habit, the reduction in fish stock was attributed to the person who polluted the Black Sea, and then in a predatory way caught all the fish from it. Lonely prudent voices drowned in demands to limit, prohibit and punish. In a good way, there was nothing special to limit - the fishermen went to more favorable areas. But the stock of delicious anchovies and sprats has not recovered. Upon a deeper study of the problem, it turned out that the fish was replaced by jellyfish. More precisely, one of their species is mnemiopsis. In the Black Sea, these jellyfish were not found. Most likely, they got into it in the cooling systems and ballast compartments of ships and ships. The conditions were suitable, there was enough food, and Mnemiopsis replaced the fish. Now scientists are only arguing about how exactly this happened: either jellyfish eat anchovy eggs, or absorb their food. Of course, the hypothesis that the Black Sea had become too favorable for jellyfish in the framework of global climate change was bound to appear.

11. The eye as separate organs in the generally accepted biological sense of jellyfish is not. However, visual analyzers are available. On the edges of the dome are growths. They are transparent. Underneath is a crystalline lens, and even deeper is a layer of photosensitive cells. They are unlikely to be able to read jellyfish, but they can easily distinguish light and shadow. About the same applies to the vestibular apparatus. Jellyfish do not have ears in general and inner ears, but there is a primitive organ of balance. The most similar analogue is a bubble of air in a liquid at a building level. In a jellyfish, such a small cavity is filled with air, in which a tiny lime ball moves, pressing on the nerve endings.

012. Jellyfish gradually capture the entire oceans. While their number in water around the globe is uncritical, however, the first calls have already sounded. Most jellyfish cause troubles to power engineers. In coastal states, they prefer to place power plants off the coast in order to use free sea water for cooling their power units. The Japanese, as you know, thought up after Chernobyl even put on the banks of nuclear power plants. Water in the cooling circuits is sucked in under high pressure. Together with it, jellyfish fall into the pipes. Protective nets that protect the system from large objects falling into them are powerless against jellyfish - the jelly-like bodies of jellyfish are broken and absorbed in parts. Clogged cooling systems can only be cleaned manually; it takes a lot of time and money. Things have not yet reached the incidents at nuclear power plants, but in December 1999 of the year, for example, an emergency blackout occurred on the Philippine island of Luzon. Given the time of the incident (many were waiting for the end of the world) and place (the political situation in the Philippines is far from stability), it is easy to assess the magnitude of the rising panic. But in fact, this jellyfish scored the cooling system of the largest substation in the country. Problems with jellyfish were also reported by power engineers from Japan, the USA, Israel and Sweden.

12. In Burma, Indonesia, China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and several other Asian countries, jellyfish are eaten and even considered a delicacy. Hundreds of thousands of tons of jellyfish are caught annually in these countries. Moreover, in China there are even farms specializing in the cultivation of “grocery” jellyfish. Basically, jellyfish - domes with separated tentacles - are dried, dried and pickled, that is, the processing processes are similar to our manipulations with mushrooms. Salads, noodles, ice cream and even caramel are prepared from jellyfish. The Japanese eat jellyfish in kind, wrapping them in bamboo leaves. Theoretically, jellyfish are considered very useful for the body - they have a lot of iodine and trace elements. However, it should be borne in mind that each jellyfish daily “filters” several tons of sea water. With the present purity of the oceans, this can hardly be considered a virtue. Nevertheless, Lisa-Ann Gershwin, the author of the sensational book “Stung: on the heyday of jellyfish and the future of the ocean”, believes that mankind can save the World Ocean from jellyfish only if it begins to actively eat them.

13. Jellyfish flew into space. Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg from East Virginia American University seems to have a low opinion of his fellow species. In order to presumably investigate the effect of gravity on the organisms of people born in space, Dr. Spangenberg for some reason chose jellyfish - creatures without a heart, brain, and central nervous system. NASA leadership met her, and in 1816 about 3 jellyfish went into space space on the reusable ship Columbia. Jellyfish perfectly transferred the flight - they returned to Earth approximately in 19 times more. The offspring was distinguished by a property that Spangenberg called the pulsation anomaly. Simply put, space jellyfish did not know how to navigate in space using gravity.

15. The bulk of the species of jellyfish swims tentacles down. Of the large species, the exception is only Cassiopeia Andromeda. This very beautiful jellyfish lives only over coral reefs in the Red Sea. Outwardly, it does not resemble a jellyfish, but a fantastic underwater garden located on a round platform.

16. Most of the French would probably not mind if a frigate called "Medusa" never existed, or at least they would never be remembered. It’s a very ugly story connected with Medusa. This ship, which followed in the summer 1816 of the year from France to Senegal, was carrying colonial administration officials, soldiers and immigrants. July 2, "Medusa" ran aground in 35 kilometers from the coast of Africa. It was not possible to take the ship aground, it began to collapse under the blows of the waves, provoking a panic. The crew and the passenger built a monstrous raft, on which they forgot to take at least a compass. Boats were to be pulled, in which, of course, naval officers and officials boarded. The raft was not towed for long - at the first sign of a storm, the commanders abandoned their wards, cut the tow ropes and calmly reached the shore. On the raft, real hell opened up. With the onset of darkness, a bacchanalia of murder, suicide and cannibalism began. In just a few hours 100 people turned into bloodthirsty animals. They killed each other with weapons, pushed off the raft into the water and fought for a place closer to the center. The tragedy lasted 8 days and ended with the victory of a close-knit group from 14 the person remaining on the raft. They were picked up after another 4 days. Five "kings of the hill" supposedly died from "unusual food" already on their way to France. In total of 124, a person survived 57, most of the survivors are escaped officers and officials. So the word "Medusa" has become for the French a synonym for the concept of "terrible tragedy."

17. In Kiev there is a Museum of jellyfish. It opened recently and fits in three small halls. It would be more correct to call an exposition an exhibition - it’s just a set of approximately 22 aquariums with small explanatory plates. But if the cognitive component of the museum is limping, then aesthetically everything looks great. A blue or pinkish backlight helps to see the smallest details of jellyfish and very well matches their smooth wave-like movements. The halls are tastefully selected music, and it seems that jellyfish dance to it. There are no very rare or very large species on display, but there are enough jellyfish to get an idea of ​​the diversity of these creatures.

17. The movements of jellyfish are extremely rational. Their external slowness is due solely to the resistance of the environment and the fragility of the jellyfish themselves. Moving, jellyfish spend very little energy. Such rationality, as well as the structure of the body of the jellyfish, gave Dr. Lee Ristrof of New York University the idea of ​​creating an unusual aircraft. Outwardly, a flying robot looks a little like a jellyfish - it is a four-wing design with a small engine and simple counterweights - but in balance it supports just like a jellyfish. The importance of this flying prototype is that the “flying jellyfish” does not need expensive, relatively heavy and energy-consuming flight stabilization systems.

18. Jellyfish are sleeping. This statement may seem the height of the absurd, because it is believed that only animals with higher nervous activity. However, students at the California Institute of Technology, noting that sometimes jellyfish react differently to the same touch, decided to check if these creatures are sleeping. For the experiments used the already mentioned Cassiopeia Andromeda. This jellyfish periodically throws waste products out of the body. This peculiar ripple had the frequency 39 during the day. At night, the frequency was reduced to 30 At the second stage of research, jellyfish were raised quite quickly from the depths almost to the surface. In the waking state, the jellyfish reacted almost instantly, again plunging into the water column. At night, it took them some time to start the dive back. And if they were not allowed to sleep at night, the jellyfish languidly reacted to touch the next day.

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