A Bizarre Jellyfish Species Can Sting You Without Touch by Hurling 'Mucus Grenades'
A species of jellyfish hunts its prey by hurling venom grenades to create “stinging water”, researchers said Thursday, solving a long-standing mystery as to how they gather food without tentacles.
A species of jellyfish hunts its prey by hurling venom grenades to create "stinging water", researchers said Thursday, solving a long-standing mystery as to how they gather food without tentacles.
The upside down jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana), found in shallow waters around Florida, the Caribbean and Micronesia, is a frequent nuisance to snorkelers and surfers who appear to get stung without touching the creatures.
It was thought that the stings came from detached tentacles or younger specimens.
The team analysed the cassiosomes and found their outer layer to be coated with thousands of stinging cells.
While the venom is not strong enough to pose a serious risk to humans, it does destroy skin cells and is deadly to smaller organisms.
According to Cheryl Ames, from Japan’s Tohoku University Graduate School of Agricultural Science, the stinging water "causes a sensation that is itchy-to-burning and, depending on the person, can cause enough discomfort to make them to want to…