JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Legends

Jellyfish Legends picture

Jellyfish Legends

Jellyfish are strange animals, and like many things that are difficult to understand, they have one very famed legend surrounding them. It comes from Japan and explains why jellyfish do not have shells, like the other sea creatures that get washed up onto the beach. According to this legend, jellyfish did once have a shell but ended up losing it.

As the legend goes, the sea queen one day fell very ill, and her advisors came to the conclusion that only the liver of an ape would help her. However, because apes don't live in the ocean, a problem was posed. It was then decided that the turtle would be the one who would venture out onto dry ground and try to lure an ape into the ocean.

The brave turtle succeeded, and when the ape arrived in the sea, the sea creatures were relieved at the sight of the ape that would cure the queen, that they had huge celebrations in welcoming him. The ape was happy to be there, until one day a passing jellyfish, with a shell, told him that he was to be killed soon and his liver taken out. The ape then had a stroke of genius, and pretended to be very sad. When asked why he claimed that he had left his liver hanging on a tree branch, and forgotten all about it, and was now worrying that the constant rains would make it quite useless.

The queen's advisors deliberated and agreed that the turtle should once again go with the ape to dry land, retrieve his liver and come right back. However the turtle, once of dry land, lost track of the ape, who stealthily escaped, telling the turtle how he learned the truth from the jellyfish. The turtle returned to the ocean, and told the queen his sad tale. As a punishment for the jellyfish, it was then stripped of his shell.

Of course, legends have no hold on real life. More modern legends are still cropping up, however. A popular legend that travelled through emails is that of a diver who accidentally got a jellyfish stuck inside his wetsuit, and after this realisation emerged out of water a whole thirty five minutes later. He also claims to have been diving at an incredible depth, which does not tie in with him wearing a wetsuit for such dangerous dives. As a result it is assumed that this was a well-rehearsed, though more recent, legend as well.

Jellyfish are mostly misunderstood creatures. Several myths and legends abound about their behaviour and how dangerous they are. While some are undoubtedly harmful when they sting you, most are harmless floating about, not looking for human prey at all. Remedies for jellyfish stings are plenty, but only some of them are effective, and others are myths. Warm water is highly recommended, and a commercial sting remedy would be the safest option. Others such as ammonia, urine and vinegar may do more harm than good based on what type of jellyfish is encountered.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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