According to a new study recently published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, the world’s oceans are in a “jellyfish stable state”. What this means: jellyfish are pretty much set to rule the oceans.
One reason is overfishing. Normally, there are plenty of fish around to dine on small jellyfish and eat up large a share of zooplankton, the stable jellyfish diet. But less fish = more jellyfish.
The second reason has to do with the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in our waterways. This is creating low-oxygen dead zones which become perfect environments for jellyfish to thrive in.
As a result, jellyfish populations are growing, causing increased sighting of jellyfish blooms in Southeast Asia, the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the North Sea.
But it not just the number of jellyfish that are increasing. Their size is also increasing. More and more monster jellyfish as surfacing, such as this Exhizen jellyfish found off the coast of northern Japan. With a body almost 5 feet across, it’s not something you’d really want to run across while taking a dip in the ocean.
However, it could be worse. You could run into Nomura, known as the world’s biggest jellyfish. Described as being “Ëœas big as sumo wrestler’, the Nomura weighs in at around 440 pounds and measures 6.5 feet in diameter.
Image: Neil Barman