Jellyfish Appoint New Chief, Ocean Shivers

Captive Jellys straining to break free of tank

The Worldwide Jellyfish Council (WJC) has appointed a Chief Marshall, and other Oceanic species have raised a note of alarm.

The WCJ released a press note earlier in the day that at the conclusion of their once per decade conference, they had elected Marshall Goooubjjev Gooooubjjep to be the first Chief Marshall for all jellyfish species since the late Precambrian period, over 500 million years ago.

Gooooubjjep is an Irukandji Jelly from off the coast of Australia.  This particular species is considered to be extremely dangerous, with human victims sometimes pleading with their doctors to end their misery after being stung.

According to the WCJ, the appointment is a “peaceful step for the species” and an attempt “to unite the race under one banner.”

Other ocean dwellers are skeptical of the Jelly’s intentions.  According to a Major in the Hammerhead Wave Patrol the Jellys have become much more aggressive in recent years.  He has even seen members of his unit refuse to monitor certain areas containing large blooms.  The Major also reported a rumor that the Jellys have been secretly breeding a new species whose members produce Jellys the size of 10 Belugas.  He was careful to note however that intelligence on the new species is spotty and unconfirmed.

According to Paul Wallis who has personally witnessed large jellyfish storms, the effect of a sighting is overwhelming.  He says:

The water was full of jellyfish, in fact it was almost all jellyfish. Even the  waves were waves of jellyfish. The beach was so heavily infested with washed up  jellyfish there was nowhere to walk to even get near the water. There was about  10-20 yards of solid jellyfish.

This happened almost overnight. You’d  see the odd big jellyfish, normally. Then the entire beach and the ocean was  just one big mass of jelly. Nobody could have suspected the sheer scale of the  population numbers.

Others, such as Lisa-Ann Gershwin have warned that Jellyfish are taking over the ocean.  In a review of her work Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, Tim Flannery writes:

From the Arctic to the equator and on to the Antarctic, jellyfish plagues… are on the increase. Even sober scientists are now talking of the jellification of the oceans. And the term is more than a mere turn of phrase. Off southern Africa, jellyfish have become so abundant that they have formed a sort of curtain of death, “a stingy-slimy killing field,” as Gershwin puts it, that covers over 30,000 square miles.

The WCJ is aware of these sentiments and decries them as anti-jellyism.  When their spokesjellys are asked about concerns raised by other species they invariably state that the Jelly population is proud of their recent growth, and will not apologize for their success.  So for now, other ocean inhabitants will have to watch the Jellyfish with a wary eye and keep a lookout for the sting.