Beware of Jellyfish

The jellyfish -- a lesson in contrast... beautiful to look at but painful to meet. Don't you just love the colors though?! Whatever you do, don't you dare try to pet it! It is not your friend. 😬

Jellyfish are carnivores -- they eat other animals. Smaller jellyfish eat algae and other tiny plankton called zooplankton. Larger jellyfish eat crustaceans and other bigger aquatic animals. They don't seek out people to attack -- their nervous system is too simple to do that. Their sting is both a defense mechanism and a way to capture their prey.

Each jellyfish tentacle is covered with thousands of cells called cnidoblasts, which house nematocysts containing stinging threads. When a jellyfish encounters another object, pressure inside the nematocyst causes the threads to uncoil. The stinging cells spring out at the unwitting victim like tiny darts, firing venom into it. The venom is a neurotoxin designed to paralyze jellyfish prey. Although a jellyfish can kill a small aquatic animal, its sting is not usually fatal to humans. It tends to cause pain, skin rashes, fever and muscle cramps. The degree of pain and reaction to a jellyfish sting can depend on the species -- larger jellyfish have larger cnidoblasts that can penetrate deeper into the skin, and some jellyfish have stronger venom than others.

I imagine you've met people like this too. They appear to be beautiful on the outside but watch out -- they come with stingers that will cause you great pain, rashes, cramps and occasionally paralyze you temporarily. Don't be a jellyfish and stay away from those who are!

Proverbs 22:24-25

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, GA


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