10 Different Types of Jellyfish
You certainly know what a jellyfish is. But did you know that there are different types of jellyfish? In fact, there are more than 2000 different species of jellyfish according to Smithsonian Magazine. Here are ten different ones that just might fascinate you if you look closely!
1. Aequorea Victoria. This jellyfish is also known as the crystal jellyfish. That makes it sounds like it’s got a great glittery look and it certainly does have a neat translucent appearance. However, it’s also cool because of how it has helped science. It has a protein in it called GFP that has been used in a number of scientific experiments including the creation of a rabbit that glows underneath blacklights! GFP has also been used to help study cell processes to help solve serious health problems like Alzheimer’s. In terms of the jellyfish itself, this protein makes it look a really cool fluorescent blue green color.
2. Australian Box Jellyfish. You may have heard somewhere that jellyfish are dangerous. That’s true but none are as dangerous as the Australian Box Jellyfish. Also called a Sea Wasp, this jellyfish is frightening in appearance when you finally see it but it’s tough to see since it’s almost completely transparent. When you do see them, you might think that you’re looking at a mutant of some kind since they have multiple eyeballs on their stomachs. Creepy! They tend to be cube-shaped instead of dome-shaped so if you see something like that in the water then you might want to get away!
3. Bathykorus Bouilloni. This is one super cool jellyfish that was discovered just within the past ten years. It’s a deep sea jellyfish that thrives in the Arctic. It made headlines not only because it emerged as yet another new species of jellyfish but also because it looks a lot like Darth Vader! Scientifically speaking, “the species has four primary tentacles, four secondary tentacles, with three interradial manubrial pouches in each quadrant.” (source)
4. Costa Rican Jellyfish. These just might be the strangest jellyfish that you’ve never seen. They live in a part of the waters of Costa Rica that are ridiculously hot (more than six hundred degrees in temperature) at a depth of more than 8000 feet below the water’s surface. Unlike other jellyfish, these jellyfish are a dark pink color. Their official name is Stauromedusae, which makes you think of serpent-haired Medusa, an apt description of the creepiness of these creatures!
5. Flower Hat Jelly. This jellyfish is named because of the way that it looks like it has a neon pink flower hat atop its head (although it’s official name is Olindias Formosa). It’s a stunner. In addition to pink it has purple and orange hues that are eye-catching. It is found in the waters of Brazil and Argentina although it has also been spotted in Japanese waters. It is a fairly small jellyfish at just about six inches across but it’s definitely one worth looking for if you ever get an opportunity!
6. Foot Long Tentacles Jellyfish. Smithsonian Magazine reports that there is believed to be a twelve-inch long jellyfish that lives in the frozen waters underneath the ice of the West Antarctic! The fact that this jellyfish can exist in the same world as the Costa Rican Jellyfish that thrives in 600 degree waters really emphasizes how many different types of jellyfish there must be in the world! Learn more.
7. Moon Jellyfish. These are some of the most common jellyfish that people are actually familiar with. If you have ever seen jellyfish in an aquarium, pulsating in a magical type of manner then it was probably a moon jellyfish that you were looking at. Wikipedia describes its appearance: “The medusa is translucent, usually about 25–40 cm in diameter, and can be recognized by its four horseshoe-shaped gonads that are easily seen through the top of the bell.” They may be what we now consider “traditional” in appearance but they are enjoyed specifically for their aesthetic beauty. This jellyfish is officially named the Aurelia Aurita and also goes by the names Saucer Jelly and Common Jelly.
8. Normura’s Jellyfish. Can you imagine swimming up to a Jellyfish that was even bigger than you are? They do exist even though they sound like something out of a horror movie. They’re called Normuras and they can be as big as 100 feet in length and more than six feet in diameter. If you were able to pick one of these jellyfish up you’d be holding something as heavy as 450 pounds! They exist primarily off of the coast of Japan.
9. Phialella Zappai. What might interest you most about this jellyfish is its name. If you can’t tell from just looking at the name, it is named after musician Frank Zappa. That’s because the scientist who discovered this type of jellyfish among the many different jellyfish out there in the world was a Zappa fan. He reportedly wrote to Zappa to let him know he was naming a jellyfish after him and ended up meeting him in person as a result.
10. Rhopilema Esculentum. That’s a mouthful to say, isn’t it? It’s also a mouthful of jellyfish because this type of jellyfish is known for being edible. They are cultured in China and go into various dishes there. What is interesting is that the stings from these jellyfish can be harmful to humans even though it is safe to ingest them.
So, have you learned about a type of jellyfish that you never knew about?