Findings on Jellyfish

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tessa Sanford, second grade teacher at Roseland Park School, researched Jellyfish with her students. The students were encouraged to find out about Jellyfish on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Since summertime is quickly approaching, the students were very interested in this topic. After many children discussed being stung by Jellyfish, they wanted to protect others from being stung, so they decided to research what kind of Jellyfish are harmful to us on the Gulf Coast. Kade Hayes, one of the students, said, “I hope we do not have any poisonous Jellyfish in our area.”

Students researched and found out about poisonous Jellyfish and the Jellyfish that we have in our area. Next, students shared their findings with the rest of the school by publishing their research information in the school newspaper. The resources that they used were internet explorer,, united, accelerated readers, and National Geographic for Kids.

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Through their research, the students discovered some of the most poisonous Jellies are Lion’s mane, found in the Arctic Ocean; Portuguese Man-of-War, found in Florida; Sea Nettle, found in Atlantic estuaries and Box Jellyfish, found in Australia.

Some of the Jellyfish that are common on the Gulf Coast are Australian Spotted Jellyfish and the Big Pink Jellyfish. Both arrived to the Mississippi Sound in 2000 through the Loop Current. This current is a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico. Australian spotted Jellyfish are about 20 inches wide and 25 pounds in weight. It is not dangerous to humans. Scientists say the invasion of these Jellyfish could pose a threat to the fishing and shrimping industries. The Jellies interfere with trawling nets and eat eggs and larvae of important fish species. The Big Pink Jellyfish are 30 inches wide and 20 feet in length. It eats other Jellyfish. It has a venomous sting similar to the Sea Nettle. The sting is not potent enough to cause human death, except by allergic reaction. It has 150 stinging tentacles.

Be careful around Jellies washed up on the sand. Some still sting if their tentacles are wet. Tentacles torn off a Jelly can sting too. If you are stung, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol. You can also sprinkle meat tenderizer or put baking soda and water paste on the sting. Don’t rinse with water, which could release more poison. See a doctor if you have an allergic reaction.