5 Terrifying Things About Jellyfish

It’s a common joke in our home that some day I will write a story about jellyfish taking over the world. Why? Because jellies are scary. Here’s my top five reasons they make the hair on the back of my neck dance:

One – They are Everywhere

Jellyfish drift along currents in every ocean in the world. They can be found in deep water, shallow water and along beaches. They have been on earth since before the time of the dinosaurs.  500 to 700 million years!

Two – They Have no Brains

Seriously – no brains.

How do they even function? They have neurons that send messages throughout their system. Is this a different kind of brain? Mmm, it’s different from how we function, that’s for sure. My writer’s mind loves this stuff.

“Instead of a single, centralized brain, jellyfish possess a net of nerves. This “ring” nervous system is where their neurons are concentrated—a processing station for sensory and motor activity.” (How are Jellyfish Able to Live Without a Brain)

Three- They Know Where They are Going

Yes, Jellies are able to navigate their direction.

“In fact, box jellyfish even have advanced eyes similar to humans. Their complicated eyes allow them to see more favorable habitats that they can swim towards, according to the Current Biology study.

“These behaviors require not only accurate vision but also precise control of speed and direction of swimming,” writes the researchers.

Some box jellyfish are so advanced that they even engage in mating rituals, in which a male grabs a female by her tentacles to deposit spermatophores on her.

“The box jellyfish solution may thus be linked to the absence of a central brain, but it defeats the idea that a central brain is a prerequisite for advanced behavior,” writes the researchers.” (Ibid.)

Four – Jellies Have no Bones, Poisonous Tentacles and They Light Up

Jellies are 98% water. They are not actually fish. They are a type of plankton distantly related to sea anemones and have only one opening in their bodies through which they eat, procreate and release waste material. They use their tentacles to grab food and also to protect themselves. The tentacles carry poison. Many of them light up in the dark.

Five – They Move In

In the fall a red variety of jellyfish move into the small bay where I like to swim on my favourite Gulf Island off the west coast of Canada. If you touch one, their poison stings but doesn’t kill you. Swimming between or around them is impossible. With seemingly little effort, they displace us every fall.

So what do you think? Should I write a story about the invasion on the Jellies?


Sources:

Wikipedia

How are Jellyfish Able to Live Without a Brain

Science ABC

My Favorite 5 Kitschy Sci-Fi Tropes

Some Sci-Fi tropes are sooo overused they have a beauty of their own, a weird-ugly beauty, like Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress being worn on an orangatan. Today, I bring you my favorite-five kitschy sci-fi tropes:

One  – Post-Apocalyptic Gangs with Wild Fashion Tastes

The funkier the clothing and hair the better. Mohawks, leather everything, braids and black make-up galore. It’s as if evil has it’s own set of designers and make-up artists.

Two – The Extra-Terrestial Bar Scene

The bar scene in Star Wars is forever stuck in my head. It’s wonderfully eccentric and I love it. But such scenes are not always done well.

Three – All Aliens Speak English

How can this be? Seriously. It makes us much sense as people in a future dystopia having perfect teeth. Sheesh.

Some realism is needed. I declare it should take aliens at least four minutes to speak our language.

Four – “The Chosen” Will Save Us (and of course they’re white)

There must be a lot of people out there hoping they’re the chosen ones, because this trope permeates all literature. The little guy who thinks he’s a nobody wins big. Remember when we first met Harry Potter, he was living under a stairwell, and look what happened to him.

The “chosen-one” trope hits an archetypal chord, appeals to our sense of humanity and who we are. It gives us little people hope.

In post-apocalyptic fiction the “chosen one(s)” save us. It works, at least I guess it works, because it’s used so much, but for me, many of the stories would ring truer if the chosen ones were “chosen” more by serendipity and inner conviction that fate. That’s me.

Oh … and please don’t make them all white and pretty.

Five – Science Goes Too Far

Civilization is collapsing. Therefore it has to be the geeky people who caused it. Face it: they understand computers and they push the limits of science too far. And hey, they’re smarter than us, so it must be them. You might have guessed, I really hate this trope, which plays on our distrust for all things geek.


Sources:

Meredith Woerner’s 10 Science Fiction Tropes We Will Never Get Tired Of

Rebecca Pahl’s 10 Overused Sci-Fi Tropes That Should be Jettisoned Into Space

Photo Credit – Pixabay


shutterstock_104723360 (1)How about you? Which tropes niggle you?

My Favorite 5 – Sci-Fi Taglines

Wool by Hugh Howey – If the lies don’t kill you, the truth will.

12 MonkeysThe future is history.

AlienIn space no one can hear you scream.

Back to the Future – 17 year old Marty McFly got home early last night. 30 years early.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind We are not alo


Sources:

“In space no one can hear you scream” and 233 more amazing movie taglines.

Tagline Guru Releases List of Top 100 American Movie Taglines


shutterstock_104723360 (1)How about you? Do you have any favorites?

 

 



Photo credit: Pixabay