JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Float

Jellyfish Float picture

Jellyfish Float

Jellyfish are marine animals and are found all over the world in oceans, lakes and even rivers. Despite their names jellyfish are not fish but are in fact cnidarians. Cnidarians are animals which do not have a spine and have a soft body. Despite living in the water, not all jellyfish can actually swim in a literal sense; most of them rely solely on their own buoyancy and the tide, currents and the wind.

In order for jellyfish to move around like this they need to open and close their bell, the bell is the central domed shape part of their body, the part the tentacles are attached to. There is a ring of muscle around the body of a jellyfish and when the jellyfish decides to tighten this muscle the body closes. This closing action then forces water from inside the jellyfish to be expelled and this action propels the jellyfish upward. Once the muscle has relaxed water will begin to refill in the body of the jellyfish in preparation for another movement.

Although jellyfish can sometimes swim, the direction they swim in is usually controlled by the currents. Jellyfish drift with these currents as well as float and sink with them, these currents are very important to the jellyfish as they provide the jellyfish with much needed assistance in moving around. Jellyfish are also rather fragile animals having barely any solid matter to them, they are 95% water when fully grown, and the currents can prove to be just as dangerous as they are helpful. During a storm the strong currents may tear the body of a jellyfish or break off its tentacles and even wash them ashore leaving them stranded with little chance of survival. There are some species of jellyfish such as the one known as the "By the wind sailor" that actually floats on the surface of the water and looks rather interesting and peculiar when doing so, it has a blue buoyant area capable of floatation and a transparent section which acts a sail to help the jellyfish to travel in the winds.

Jellyfish may also float on the surface of the water when they are deceased. It is important to remember that even if a jellyfish is dead you will still be stung by it if you come into contact with the tentacles and the poison can still be released. Watching jellyfish floating under water is a beautiful and even elegant sight. One downside to not being able to have absolute control over their direction is that the jellyfish really can not actively swim to their preferred destination. The jellyfish which cannot swim are solely at the mercy of the tides, winds and the currents.

Jellyfish are very intriguing creatures as they cannot all swim and they do not posses fins to help them travel and guide their way through out the water. The bell and tentacles of the jellyfish are all that it has to help itself navigate its way throughout the water. If you would like to learn more about jellyfish and their methods of travelling throughout the water please check out these great articles at our Jellyfish Info Section.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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